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Germany: Neo-Nazi trial resumes as lawyers battle over technical details

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Germany: Neo-Nazi trial resumes as lawyers battle over technical details


The trial of alleged neo-Nazi ring leader Beate Zschaepe has resumed in Munich. The process began again after accusations of bias where dismissed, but further legal battles threaten to derail the landmark case.

Zschaepe stands accused – alongside four others – of 10 murders, mostly of ethnic Turks, since 2000. The court did not even get to hear the list of charges, as lawyers argued over technical details such as the size of the courtroom.

With 62 lawyers, five accused and 86 plaintiffs, lawyers for the accused asked for more space. This latest delay angered relatives of the victims eager for justice. Their lawyers explained that not all the plaintiffs would be present during the trial.

Mehmet Daimaguler, a lawyer for one of the victim’s relatives, said: “They will attend on the days when the parents of killers who committed suicide will be here because they want to understand how people become killers. It’s important for my client to find inner peace.”

Silent since her arrest in November 2011, Zschaepe’s manner and dress is being analysed in minute detail by those in attendance.

Stephan Lucas, a lawyer for a relative of a Turkish victim noted: “She looked at our client in a very relaxed way. She was not at all afraid to look at her. She looked at our client in a calm way.”

This latest delay is frustrating for the relatives of victims, as the process could last another two years. If convicted Zschaepe faces life in prison.

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