Merkel meets families of neo-Nazi cell's victims
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stands on the terrace in the Tea House of the former Chancellery in Bonn June 29, 2013. Merkel spent more than three hours Monday with relatives of the victims of a far-right extremist cell, whose surviving member is now on trial on murder and terrorism charges. REUTERS photoGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel spent more than three hours Monday with relatives of the victims of a far-right extremist cell, whose surviving member is now on trial on murder and terrorism charges.
In the long-awaited meeting, which was closed to the media, Merkel wanted "to listen and find out what moves and saddens the families today", said her spokesman Georg Streiter.
The trio who made up the self-styled National Socialist Underground (NSU) are accused of the assassination-style murders of 10 people -- eight men with Turkish roots, a Greek migrant and a German police woman.
They are also accused of other racist hate crimes, including a nail-bomb attack, and a string of bank robberies to finance their life in hiding.
NSU members Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boehnhardt were found dead in 2011 after an apparent murder-suicide. Their alleged accomplice Beate Zschaepe, 38, is on trial in Munich along with four NSU supporters.
The random discovery of the NSU embarrassed authorities, exposing deep security flaws and raising uncomfortable questions about how the cell went undetected for 13 years in a country proud of owning up to its Nazi past.
Merkel has previously called the killings a national "disgrace" and appealed for forgiveness from victims' relatives at a memorial ceremony in February 2012.