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Neo-Nazi party seeks legitimacy in court
Photo: DPA

Neo-Nazi party seeks legitimacy in court

Published: 14 Nov 2012 09:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Nov 2012 09:01 GMT+01:00

Germany's neo-Nazi NPD party said on Tuesday it had turned to the constitutional court for confirmation of its legitimacy, as regional interior ministers were said to be seeking a ban on the group from the same authority.

"I just filed a petition a few minutes ago before the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe to have the NPD's conformity to the constitution recognised," said National Democratic Party of Germany head Holger Apfel in a video posted Tuesday on the party website.

A court spokesman confirmed to news agency AFP that the petition had been filed, while Apfel said that if it were rejected he would be ready to turn to the European Court of Human Rights.

In March, Germany's regional interior ministers announced that they would try to assemble a case towards getting the NPD banned. Having given themselves half a year to gather evidence, they are not expected to file a formal request until next month.

In November of last year, a poll showed that three-quarters of Germans wanted a ban on the NPD, in a survey that followed the discovery of an extreme far-right cell believed to have murdered 10 people, mainly Turkish shopkeepers.

Last week, German prosecutors said they brought murder charges against 37-year-old Beate Zschäpe, who is said to have been at the heart of the neo-Nazi cell accused of the seven-year killing spree.

In existence since 1964, the NPD won 1.5 percent of the vote at the last national elections in 2009.

In 2003, a first attempt to ban the NPD failed, when the Constitutional Court - the only court able to make such a pronouncement - argued that the presence of undercover intelligence officers in the party posed a legal complication.

AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:20 November 14, 2012 by raandy
Not being a German but living with them for many years,this issue is a very strong and emotional issue, understandably so.

Banning the NPD will only drive them underground and to secrecy. I would think it better to keep them in the open where you keep better track of their numbers and agenda.
13:19 November 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Agreed Raandy. It may also be helpful to tag them and put them into a special enclosure out of harms way.
14:32 November 14, 2012 by StoutViking
The scum needs a cesspit to wash down to, might as well be in the light. Illegalize them and they'll go underground. Today the "suits" at least keep the boneheads at bay, persuing goals through legal channels. Break them up and it's back to the terror days of the 80's and 90's.
21:13 November 14, 2012 by chicagolive
The problem with banning them will only give them more legitimacy with the youth. They already have a foot hold in many areas especially in East Germany. Even in the west they have high allies who just keep to the shadows. Germany has a issue with identity in their fight against nationalism they actually played into the hands of the people they did not want to rise up again. With no national pride the youth who seek identity gravitated towards the ones who do show pride be it the wrong kind.
23:31 November 14, 2012 by maxbrando
This matter is a classic demonstration of the German compulsion to forbid ideas rather than debate and ridicule bad ideas. Germans start to look like Russians or Chinese or other repressive states. Irt is why no one trusts you at all.
10:45 November 16, 2012 by raandy
Berlin fuer alles, It is too bad we can not identify these people at birth where we could inject them with an isotope and monitor their activities through out their lives.

I am sure the Russians would be a good source of information on the subject. :-)
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