Police in Germany have charged a woman linked to a violent neo-Nazi cell with being an accessory to murder.
Beate Zschäpe was allegedly part of the National Socialist Underground which evaded police for more than a decade.
The 37-year-old lived with two other members of the cell, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, who are believed to have carried out the murders. The trio were described as a “unified killing commando”.
Most of their victims were of Turkish origin, as well as a German policewoman.
The NSU is suspected of committing ten murders, two bomb attacks and fifteen armed robberies. For years police wrongly blamed rivalry between immigrant gangs for the killings.
The German Attorney General, Harald Range, described Zschäpe’s role:
“The accused Zschäpe gave the NSU an appearance of normality and legality. She was the inconspicuous front for their different accommodations. Because of her, the shared apartment could be used as refuge and action centre for the terrorist group.”
The charges come exactly a year after Zschäpe handed herself into police. Days earlier, police had discovered the NSU trio by chance after a failed bank robbery. The two men then apparently committed suicide and Zschäpe allegedly burnt the apartment they had used as a base.
Zschäpe’s trial will take place in Munich and is expected to last a year.