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CRIME

Police investigate 14 suspected neo-Nazis

Authorities in Germany are investigating 14 suspected members of neo-Nazi terror groups, news magazine Der Spiegel reports.

Police investigate 14 suspected neo-Nazis
Photo:DPA

Of those, 10 are in connection with the activities of the NSU neo-Nazi terror cell, which killed eight Turkish people and one Greek as well as a German policewoman over a period of seven years.

The figures have emerged in response to an information request issued by Germany’s Left Party. The number does not include the five people who are already due to appear in Munich’s Upper Regional Court in connection with the NSU killing spree.

One of the 14 people under investigation is Martin Wiese, who was arrested in 2003 for plotting a bomb attack on an opening ceremony for a Jewish community centre in Munich. He was later sentenced to seven years in jail for leading a terrorist organisation. He’s now being accused of conspiring with a terrorist group, a charge he denies.

Another man being investigated is Meinolf Schönborn, the former head of the banned Nationalistische Front (Nationalist Front) He’s accused of trying, with three others, to set up a new group called Neue Ordnung (New Order). He also denies the allegation. In northern Germany police are also investigating a handful of people thought to have helped supply weapons for attacks.

The trial of NSU member Beate Zschäpe has been marred by controversy after no Turkish media outlets initially gained accreditation to be in the courtroom to cover the trial. Though the court first refused to re-open the application process, an order from above ensured that Turkish, Greek and Persian-language media would be guaranteed seats at the trial.

Zschäpe’s trial begins on May 6.

The Local/kkf

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

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.

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