A top court in Germany upheld a sentence for Andre E., defendant in the National Socialist Underground (NSU) trial where a gang accused of killing Turks living in Germany was tried. With the verdict, the mammoth trial on killings and other crimes carried out by the right-wing extremist terrorist group has been concluded.
Germany's Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe confirmed on Wednesday a sentence of two and a half years against NSU supporter Andre E. This means that the sentence issued by the Munich Higher Regional Court from 2018 is now legally binding, the presiding judge said. The BGH had dismissed the appeal of the main defendant, Beate Zschaepe, without a prior hearing in August, confirming her sentence to life imprisonment as an accomplice in the racially motivated murders carried out by the NSU. The sentences against three other NSU accomplices have been legally binding for some time.
The neo-Nazi terrorist cell carried out murders in Germany for several years. Their victims were nine tradesmen of Turkish and Greek origin and a German policewoman. Zschaepe's friends Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boehnhardt also carried out two bomb attacks which left dozens of people injured. They killed themselves in 2011.
The case against Andre E was the only one to be heard by the BGH, with the accused claiming he was innocent and prosecutors arguing thay the sentence was too mild. The judges at the original trial had considered it proven that E had organized several rail cards for the NSU trio in 2009, 2010 and 2011, which were made out to him and his wife but which bore photos of Boehnhardt and Zschaepe. He had known that Zschaepe, Boehnhardt and Mundlos planned to commit acts of terrorism. He had also rented mobile homes which the NSU used in two robberies and an attack in Cologne.
The BGH said no legal errors had been made at the trial and dismissed both appeals. The detailed written reasons for the judgment are expected to be published in January.