German authorities trying to cover up neo-Nazi scandal, says lawyer
“Several right-wing police officers were most probably involved in death threats sent to me and my family. But so far none of them have been brought to justice. Instead the prosecutors claim that the threatening letters were sent by one suspect, an unemployed IT technician,” said Seda Basay-Yildiz.
The prominent Turkish-German lawyer has received two dozen threatening messages since 2018, all of them signed with the neo-Nazi alias “NSU 2.0” – referring to the terrorist group National Socialist Underground (NSU).
“These threatening messages have been really serious. They included the name of my 20-month-old daughter and my home address, which was only known by my family members. They threatened me by saying they would kill my daughter, saying they already have my address,” she said.
But Basay-Yildiz said this was highly unlikely, as investigations have revealed that very detailed searches were done of her personal records on the police computer, which indicates active involvement by one or several police officers.
“Investigations have shown that someone at the police station searched information about my child at the police computer. And only 90 minutes after that, somebody sent me a threatening message under the name NSU 2.0.,” she said.
Threats followed her
They were suspended after an investigation found that they were members of right-wing chat groups and shared neo-Nazi content, including depictions of Adolf Hitler, swastikas and other symbols, which are banned in Germany.
“Apart from these threats against me, what these police officers shared on these chat groups are criminal acts. But they haven’t been brought to justice yet. This alone shows that authorities aren’t doing a serious job,” she added.
Basay-Yildiz is a prominent figure in Germany, where she was born and raised, and is known for her efforts to shed light on the racist murders of the NSU, which killed eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek citizen, and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007.
She represented families of the Turkish victims during the high-profile NSU trial between 2013 and 2018.
Suspected neo-Nazi networks still hidden
For many years, Germany’s police and intelligence services ruled out any neo-Nazi motive for these murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects, questioning them over alleged connections with mafia groups and drug traffickers.
The German public first learned of the NSU’s existence and its role in the murders back in November 2011, when two members of the group reportedly committed suicide after an unsuccessful bank robbery. The police found evidence in their apartment showing that they were behind the murders.
After the five-year trial, in 2018 the group’s only known surviving member Beate Zschaepe was sentenced to life in prison by Munich’s Higher Regional Court.
During the trial, Zschaepe declined to give any insight about the NSU and tried to lay the blame on the two other members of the terror group.
While recent revelations have shown that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency had dozens of informants who had contacts with these neo-Nazis, officials insisted that they had no prior information about the existence of the NSU terror group and its role in the murders.