A German court has delayed the trial of a suspected surviving member of a neo-Nazi cell after the chief judge was accused of bias.
Beate Zschaepe is accused of complicity in the shooting of eight Turks, a Greek and a German policewoman, as well as two bombings in immigrant areas of Cologne and 15 bank robberies.
Her two presumed male accomplices both committed suicide in 2011. Zschaepe faces life imprisonment if convicted.
Four other defendants are charged with assisting the National Socialist Underground, which went undetected for more than a decade.
The case has exposed serious intelligence failings. It has also forced Germany to acknowledge that it had a more militant and dangerous neo-Nazi fringe than previously thought.
The trial is now expected to get underway on 14 May.
“We haven’t found any evidence for the involvement of other people, familiar with the places or interrelations with other groups, during our investigations. Our enquiries are still ongoing and we follow up all information,” said federal public prosecutor Herbert Diemer.
The victims’ families came face to face with the accused for the first time at Monday’s hearing.
“For me personally, it has been exhausting and put a strain on me,” said Enver Simsek, daughter of one of the victims.
“It was unpleasant to be in a room with the defendants for hours and to observe them. There were defendants who acted provocatively. It was an exhausting day,” she continued.
Outside the court, a scuffle broke out between police and a group of women who were screaming “we demand justice.”