Supporters of neo-Nazi convicted of terrorism
6 April 2005, MUNICH - Three young women and a schoolboy who joined a neo- Nazi secret cell that may have plotted bomb attacks against Jews were convicted of terrorism by a German court on Tuesday, but walked free with their prison terms suspended.
6 April 2005
MUNICH - Three young women and a schoolboy who joined a neo- Nazi secret cell that may have plotted bomb attacks against Jews were convicted of terrorism by a German court on Tuesday, but walked free with their prison terms suspended.
They were supporters of Martin Wiese, a sinister Munich neo-Nazi who is being tried separately along with three of his lieutenants.
Based in Munich, the city where Adolf Hitler laid the foundations of his Nazi party and mounted a failed putsch, they used secret codes and names, planning to take over Germany. The trial was the first where neo-Nazis were charged with being a terrorist organisation.
The Bavarian superior state court imposed sentences ranging from 16 to 22 months on the group, the youngest an 18-year-old girl. Another girl, 20, and the boy, 19, were still attending high school.
A fifth defendant, 38, a contact from Wiese's eastern German hometown, was convicted of illegal possession of explosives and being an accessory to illegal acquisition of a gun. He was given an 18- month suspended term.
Presiding Judge Bernd von Heintschel-Heinegg said, "From early 2003 you planned a revolution of blood that was to include murder."
Prosecutors said the group aimed to set off a bomb at an empty building site, hours before the foundation stone was laid for a new synagogue in 2003, frightening away German leaders. Neo-Nazi violence to date has rarely proceeded beyond brawling, muggings and arson.
Police arrested the group, the Comrades of the South, in 2003 before it could act.
Its members have confessed at the two parallel trials that there was talk of attacking the synagogue site, but it is unclear how advanced the plot became. Wiese's trial is still only mid-way through.
A girl had seriously contemplated committing a suicide bombing for the cause on Munich's main square while she was 18, the judge said.
The court said it suspended the sentences because the four were only barely adults and had dissociated themselves from the neo-Nazis. They face arrest if they meet any neo-Nazis while the suspended sentences run.
Subject: German news