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Germany: Munich protests continue over Neo-Nazi murder spree verdict

Protesters remained outside the courthouse for a concert as Beate Schaepe, the last surviving member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU), was found guilty of ten counts of murder by the Higher Regional Court in Munich on Wednesday.

Footage shows demonstrators carrying placards and flags as music is played and police keep them off the road.

Beate Zschaepe, 43, was pronounced guilty of all charges and sentenced to a lifetime in prison, which is equal to 15 years. Whilst the court did not give Zschaepe a special preventive detention for after serving her term, the judge acknowledged the exceptional severity of guilt.

During the trial, defendants Ralf Wohlleben, Carsten S., Andre E. and Holger G. were pronounced guilty of supporting the NSU during their killing spree and were sentenced to varying prison terms; one of the defendants will walk free.

The NSU cell, made up of three members, killed 10 people between 2000 and 2007. Eight of the victims were of Turkish origin; the other victims were a Greek man and a German policewoman. The NSU aimed to terrorise minorities and coerce them into leaving the country.

Outrage was caused by the fact that the NSU had been able to operate undetected for so many years. The police wrongly accused Turkish mafia of the murders, leading some to claim authorities were complacent about the crimes of right-wing extremists. The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence service was eventually forced to resign.

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