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Primary suspect in German NSU trial distances herself from far-right murder series
Last Updated: 2018-07-04 07:20 | Xinhua
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Beate Zschaepe, the primary suspect in the ongoing "National Socialist Underground" (NSU) trial in Germany, has distanced herself from crimes committed by the far-right group during court hearings on Tuesday.

"Please do not judge me for something that I did not want and did not do", Zschaepe said during her final plea at the Munich Higher Regional Court. She insisted that she was unaware of the plans by the already deceased NSU leaders Mundlos and Boehnhardt to carry out a series of right-wing extreme murders.

After more than five years, the widely-publicized court proceedings in which Zschaepe and four other suspects have stood accused of aiding and abetting the activities are scheduled to reach a long-awaited verdict on July 11. State prosecutors consider Zschaepe as a third NSU ring-leader who was on par with Mundlos and Boehnhardt and took an active role in the illegal group's decision-making.

State prosecutors are consequently demanding a non-negotiable life sentence for Zschaepe. The prosecution wants to hold the defendant accountable for all crimes committed by the far-right group, including ten cases of murder. While Zschaepe did not commit the murders herself, she still carries full responsibility for them as the group's "co-founder, member and accomplice", according to prosecutors.

By contrast, Zschaepe's attorneys have argued that the 43-year-old suspect should only be convicted of arson and being an accessory to armed robbery, whilst denying her involvement in bombings and murders attributed to the NSU. Additionally, the defense sees no reason to rule out the possibility of a pre-mature release from jail due to an alleged security threat posed by their client to society.

The so-called "Bosporus Serial Murders" carried out by Mundlos and Boehnhardt witnessed the killing of one police officer and nine civilians with migratory backgrounds. Many attacks took place in broad daylight at food markets, street food stalls or kiosks where the victims were shot at point-blank range with a silenced firearm. Boehnhardt and Mundlos escaped trial themselves by committing suicide in 2011 following the self-uncovering of their organization in a failed armed robbery attempt.

The subsequent NSU trial which first began in 2013 is now due to end soon has captured the attention of the German public for years.

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