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Turkey criticizes Germany over failure to 'adequately' punish far-right crimes

Turkey criticizes Germany over failure to 'adequately' punish far-right crimes
Ankara voices concern after key suspect of NSU terror group gets milder sentence despite key role in neo-Nazi murders

ANKARA (AA) - Turkey on Thursday voiced concern over Germany’s failure to adequately punish far-right crimes after a higher court confirmed a milder sentence to a key neo-Nazi suspect involved in murders targeting Turkish community members.

Germany's Federal Court of Justice upheld a two and a half years jail sentence for Andre Emminger on Wednesday, although the prosecutors sought a sentence of 12 years, for his support to a neo-Nazi terror group, the NSU.

“This decision has further reinforced the perception that racist and xenophobic crimes are not adequately punished and there is no intention to investigate and uncover the true dimensions of the NSU group,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic said in a statement.

He said the decision has disappointed family members of the victims and undermined trust in the justice system.

“This decision shows that Germany should take the threat of racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia more seriously,” he added.

The neo-Nazi group NSU killed eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek citizen, and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007, but the murders remained long unsolved.

For many years, Germany’s police and intelligence services ruled out any neo-Nazi motive for the murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects, questioning them over alleged connections with mafia groups and drug traffickers.

The German public first learned of the NSU’s existence and its role in the murders in 2011 when two members of the group committed suicide after an unsuccessful bank robbery. The police found evidence in their apartment, showing that they were behind the murders.

The group’s only known surviving member Beate Zschaepe was sentenced to life in prison by Munich’s Higher Regional Court in 2018, after a five-year-long trial.

The court gave lighter sentences to four other suspects, who provided support to the terrorist group.
Among them, Andre Emminger, who rented caravans for the group which were used during the murders, was released from prison in the same year.

The neo-Nazi group carried out murders, bomb attacks, and robberies in nearly a dozen German cities between 2000 and 2011, targeting mainly Turkish small business owners.

Many experts today dispute the claim that the NSU was only an “isolated cell” as claimed by the authorities, and underline that it must have had ties to a larger network of neo-Nazis across the country.

While recent revelations have shown that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency had dozens of informants who had contacts with the NSU members, officials insisted that they had no prior information about the NSU terror cell and the killings.

source: News Feed
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