World

Life in jail for German Neo-Nazi member

By AAP Newswire

A member of a German neo-Nazi gang has been jailed for life for her part in the murders of 10 people during a seven-year campaign of racially-motivated violence.

43-year-old Beate Zschaepe was part of the National Socialist Underground (NSU), whose members killed eight Turks, a Greek citizen and a German policewoman.

Zschaepe had denied any knowledge of the murders during the five-year trial. But she said later she regretted not stopping two male members of the gang, Uwe Boehnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, from carrying out the killings.

Those men killed themselves in 2011 when police discovered the gang by chance.

Prosecutors said she played a key role behind the scenes, planning the killings and arranging money and alibis.

Zschaepe's lawyer, Mathias Grasel, said he would appeal against Wednesday's ruling.

"The verdict is wrong!" Grasel said. "Conviction for complicity is legally untenable. The fact is: Ms. Zschaepe was demonstrably present at no crime scene and never fired a weapon or detonated a bomb."

Four men were also found guilty of supporting the group in various ways and sentenced to prison terms of between two and a half and 10 years.

Turkey's foreign ministry said the trial had not uncovered the full story of the murder of its citizens and the other victims.

"Unfortunately, the ruling made today has not brought to light the real criminals, the background of the NSU murders and the connection between the deep state and intelligence to its full extent," it said, without going into further detail.

Zschaepe, wearing a purple and white scarf and black outfit that matched her black hair, chatted calmly with her lawyer in the court room before the verdict was read out.