Germany apologizes to UN for neo-Nazi murders

Germany apologizes to UN for neo-Nazi murders

Germany apologizes to UN for neo-Nazi murders

Photo taken on April 12, 2013 shows journalists visiting the courtroom of the Regional Court of Munich, southern Germany, where the delayed trial against the sole survivor of the far-right militants NSU and four other alleged neo-Nazi accomplices will start on May 6, 2013. AFP photo

Germany has apologized at the United Nations for mistakes made while investigating the neo-Nazi murders days before the trial of the sole survivor of the group.

The NSU murders were “without doubt the worst human rights contraventions in Germany in the last decades,” Markus Löning, human rights ombudsman to the German government, told the U.N. Committee on Human Rights in Geneva on April 25. “I want to repeat this apology explicitly in this forum,” Löning said. “Prosecution authorities failed to identify the motives and therefore did not catch the murderers,” Deutsche Welle quoted him as saying.

The far-right killer cell is accused of murdering 10 people between 2000 and 2007, eight of whom had Turkish roots, a Greek locksmith and a German policewoman. The group was only uncovered in 2011. The sole surviving member, Beate Zschaepe, alleged core member is set to go on trial on May 6.

Berlin has publicly apologized to the victims’ families for the police detectives who failed to spot and connect clues of neo-Nazi involvement and for also treating the families as potential suspects during the investigations.

Löning’s apology came in response to Turkish U.N. envoy Oğuz Demiralp, who said that the roughly 3 million people of Turkish origin in Germany have been troubled by a rising level of xenophobia. He advised Berlin to step up measures and to take resolute action against right-wing extremism and xenophobia.