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Woman neo-Nazi jailed for racist murders

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By Mark Armstrong
Beate Zschäpe
Beate Zschäpe

A court in Munich has sentenced the only surviving member of a neo-Nazi cell to life in prison after a trial that started in 2013.

Beate Zschäpe was convicted of ten murders. The victims were nine Turkish and Greek immigrants while the tenth was a German policewoman.

The killings were carried out by a trio known as the Nationalist Socialist Underground, or NSU, and took place between 2000 and 2007.

The other two NSU members, Uwe Boehnhardt and Uwe Mundlos killed themselves in what's believed to have been a suicide pact in 2011.

The victims died in a series of shootings and bombings. Zschäpe herself claims she was not involved in any of the murders and only heard about them afterward. Her lawyers have now filed an appeal. After the other two cell members died it was she who revealed the scale of the gang's activities. The police had previously blamed the series of killings on immigrant crime gangs.

Four men were convicted alongside Zschäpe for various offences including supplying a murder weapon, helping the killers while in hiding, and sympathising with a terrorist organisation.

The trial was one of Germany's longest post-war hearings, involving around 800 witnesses, yet relatives of the victims say questions still remain unanswered.

The case shocked the country, which to some extent is still trying to come to terms with its Nazi past.