Suspected accomplice of German neo-Nazi murderers arrested in Switzerland
Deutsche-Presse Agentur reported on Friday 10 February that Swiss police arrested a man at an airport in Zurich on Tuesday 7 February who is allegedly linked to the German neo-Nazi group in Zwickau that murdered nine immigrants and one police officer between 2000 and 2007. Authorities say the man, who was taken into custody on Friday, is being investigated on suspicion of supporting the criminal organization. He allegedly illegally delivered a Czech-made pistol to them which later became one of the murder weapons used by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU). As of Friday, however, police had not yet managed to prove a direct link between the suspect and the right-wing extremists.
Detectives found a 7.65 mm caliber Browning in the caravan that the alleged perpetrators of the series of murders, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, set on fire before taking their own lives last November. The neo-Nazi group had a total of about 20 weapons. One of those was a ČZ 83 pistol of the same caliber with a silencer that was discovered with the third founding NSU member, Beate Zschäpe, who has been in custody since last fall. Detectives said the Czech-produced weapon came from a Swiss shop once owned by a Czech-Swiss entrepreneur. Members of the Swiss ultra-right most probably helped the German extremists acquire it.
Zschäpe is one of six suspects in custody in Germany in relation to the case. The members of the Zwickau cell are said to have also been responsible for two bomb attacks in Turkish neighborhoods of Cologne in 2001 and 2004, resulting in more than 20 injuries, as well as a minimum of 14 bank robberies. They took responsibility for the crimes last year on a video recording that was later discovered.
The case is continuing to prompt suspicions in Germany, as it has been shown that the country's security organs made many missteps in their previous investigations of the murders. Yesterday's edition of the Bild am Sonntag weekly has most recently contributed to that debate, reporting that detectives erased data acquired through wiretapping the alleged NSU supporters. The head of the German Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jörg Ziercke, denies the charges, saying the detectives erased copies of the recordings, not the originals. However, German politicians led by German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich are demanding an investigation of the suspicions.
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