Daily Journal masthead

Court rejects defense lawyers' request to resign from German neo-Nazi murder trial

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

BERLIN — A Munich court on Monday ordered three lawyers to continue their defense in Germany's biggest neo-Nazi murder trial, rejecting their request to resign from the case.

The three court-appointed attorneys had asked to be relieved from defending Beate Zschaepe, who has been on trial since May 2012 for alleged complicity in 10 murders.

Prosecutors allege that she was part of a group, calling itself National Socialist Underground, which allegedly killed eight Turks, a Greek and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007. The group's two other members died in an apparent murder-suicide in November, 2011.

PHOTO: Lawyers of defendant Beate Zschaepe, alleged member of the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Underground, NSU, from left :  Anja Sturm,  Wolfgang Stahl and Wolfgang Heer leave the court in Munich, Germany, Monday, July 20, 2015. The three court-appointed  lawyers for the sole surviving suspect in Germany's biggest neo-Nazi murder trial have asked the court for permission to resign.  (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Lawyers of defendant Beate Zschaepe, alleged member of the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Underground, NSU, from left : Anja Sturm, Wolfgang Stahl and Wolfgang Heer leave the court in Munich, Germany, Monday, July 20, 2015. The three court-appointed lawyers for the sole surviving suspect in Germany's biggest neo-Nazi murder trial have asked the court for permission to resign. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

German news agency dpa quoted one of the lawyers, Wolfgang Heer, as saying ahead of the court's decision that if the court approved their resignation, the trial against Zschaepe would likely have to start over.

German media have reported that Zschaepe distrusts Heer and his two colleagues, Anja Sturm and Wolfgang Stahl. Her recent request that they be replaced was denied by the court, though it did grant her a fourth attorney.

Revelations about the authorities' bungling of the case have caused deep embarrassment in Germany, as well as accusations of deliberate cover-ups.

Official inquiries showed investigators in different parts of Germany failed to exchange important clues about the group after they were first sought by police in 1998.

For years police also attributed most of the killings to immigrant gangs, sparking a debate about institutional racism in Germany.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow Daily Journal:

All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.