German court rejects last appeals over neo-Nazi murder spree
BERLIN (AP) — A German federal court on Wednesday rejected appeals in the case of a neo-Nazi convicted of supporting a group that carried out the country’s biggest killing spree targeting migrants since World War II — concluding legal proceedings in a saga that shocked Germany.
The Federal Court of Justice upheld Andre Eminger’s 2018 conviction and 2½-year sentence for supporting a terrorist organization, the self-styled National Socialist Underground group. It threw out appeals both from the defendant and from prosecutors, who had objected to his acquittal on other charges including accessory to attempted murder.
Eminger was one of five people convicted by a Munich court over their involvement with the group. Prosecutors considered him to be one of the closest contacts the NSU’s three core members had during their time on the run. He rented an apartment and mobile homes used by the NSU to travel around Germany, though the court said it couldn’t be proved he knew of the planned crimes.
In August, the federal court rejected appeals by three other defendants — including Beate Zschaepe, the only known surviving member of the NSU, who is serving a life sentence. She was convicted of 10 counts of murder for her role in the killing of nine men — eight of Turkish origin and one of Greek heritage — and a police officer between 2000 and 2007.
Zschaepe was arrested in 2011, shortly after setting fire to the apartment she and the other two members — Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boehnhardt — shared in the eastern town of Zwickau. Hours earlier, Mundlos had killed Boehnhardt and then himself in what investigators believe was an attempt to evade arrest.
The fifth defendant in the case withdrew his appeal, so Wednesday’s ruling brings the legal proceedings to a close.