New suspect detained in neo-Nazi terror case

Police have arrested a man suspected of involvement in the far-right terror cell case that has shocked Germany. The man is a suspected accomplice of the trio of neo-Nazis thought to have carried out a string of racist killings.

New suspect detained in neo-Nazi terror case
Image Source: DPA

The authorities said on Sunday that they had arrested 37-year-old Holger G. and searched his apartment near Hannover. Prosecutors are now investigating whether he had any part in the crimes alleged to have been carried out by the terror cell, including the 2007 slaying of a policewoman and the killing of nine foreign-born food vendors and shop-owners from 2000 to 2006.

Federal prosecutors, who took over the case on Friday, had at first focused their attention on three neo-Nazis who had lived in an apartment in Zwickau, Saxony. The two male suspects killed themselves after a botched bank robbery last week and the third suspect, a woman, handed herself into police.

The man now detained by the authorities is alleged to have had been in contact with the other three since the late 1990s. He is thought to have given them his driving license and passport in 2007. He is also suspected of renting caravans for the group on several occasions.

Investigators have already linked the Zwickau trio to the so-called “döner kebab murders” and the policewoman’s killing after finding the guns used in the attacks at their apartment.

They also found DVDs in which the men reportedly claimed responsibility for the racist murders and said they were members of a far-right group called the “National Socialist Underground,” which they described as a “network of comrades with the basic principle of actions instead of words.”

In one 15-minute video, the men also announced that they intended to carry out further attacks.

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger insisted on a speedy and complete investigation in to the series of killings.

“The information that we have so far creates a shocking image,” she said on Sunday.

She also called for a rigorous investigation into the dimensions of far-right networks and organizations in Germany.

The Local/DPAD/DPA/smd

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Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.