German court rejects bias charge in neo-Nazi trial

By REUTERS
May 10, 2013 19:56




MUNICH, Germany - A German court rejected on Friday an accusation of bias from a defendant in a case involving neo-Nazi racist murders, removing a potential legal hurdle to resumption of the trial.

The trial of Beate Zschaepe and four others opened last Monday in Munich but was quickly adjourned after defense lawyers delivered motions accusing chief judge Manfred Goetzl of bias. The proceeding is due to resume next Tuesday.

The trial, one of Germany's most anticipated in decades, had already suffered delay before the accusations of judicial bias due to a dispute over media coverage of the case.

A lawyer for Ralf Wohlleben, one of the defendants, told Reuters the court had rejected his motion alleging bias. Among other issues, Wohlleben had complained that, unlike Zschaepe, he had been denied a third court-appointed lawyer for the trial.

Zschaepe, 38, is accused of helping to found the neo-Nazi cell, the National Socialist Underground (NSU), and of complicity in the murders of 10 people, mostly ethnic Turks, from 2000 to 2007.


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