By Ayhan Simsek
MUNICH (AA) - The families of neo-Nazi murder victims slammed German authorities on Tuesday for failing to shed light on a shadowy far-right group ahead of a long-awaited verdict in a high-profile trial.
“As the trial began, I was very hopeful that I would get answers to all of my questions. The chancellor made a promise. But the five-year trial has been a disappointment,” Gamze, the daughter of Mehmet Kubasik who was killed by the NSU, told a press conference in Munich.
“I would like to know why my father was killed. I would like to know why there has been no investigation so far into a wider group of supporters,” she said, accusing authorities of trying to cover up the facts in lieu of a thorough investigation.
After a five-year trial, a Munich court is scheduled to hand down its verdict on Wednesday on the murder of eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek citizen, and a German policewoman by the shadowy National Socialist Underground (NSU).
The court is widely expected to sentence chief suspect Beate Zschaepe to life in prison for being a co-founder of the terrorist cell and complicity in all the murders.
But many questions about the group, and its possible links to a wider group of far-right extremists, remain unanswered, as Zschaepe denied any role in the murders, and German domestic intelligence destroyed files that might include information on the NSU.
-Not an 'isolated cell'
Abdulkerim, the son of Enver Simsek, who was killed by the NSU in 2000, disputed the claim that the NSU was only an “isolated cell” of three far-right extremists.
“In the past five years, 437 court days could not provide answers to the most important questions. I have the feeling that the authorities haven’t done everything [they could] to uncover the facts,” he said.
“I believe that many other suspects who knew about these murders and supported the group are still free,” he added.
The NSU murders between 2000 and 2007 long went unsolved.
The group was only revealed in 2011, when two members -- Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Bohnhardt -- died after an unsuccessful bank robbery and police found guns and propaganda in their apartment.
Zschaepe, the group’s last surviving member, denied any role in the NSU, and provided no new information about the murders, and major questions related to the murders remain unanswered.
The scandal surrounding the NSU has led to widespread criticism of police and security agencies in Germany, which were accused by opposition parties of tolerating right-wing extremists, stereotyping, and discrimination against immigrants.
Until 2011, Germany’s police and intelligence services ruled out any racial motive for the murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects in the case, questioning them over alleged connections with mafia groups and drug traffickers.
While recent revelations have shown that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency had dozens of informants who had contacts with the NSU suspects, officials insisted that they had no prior information about the NSU terror cell and its suspected role in the killings.