In what is being billed as one of Germany’s highest profile court cases since World War II, the surviving member of a neo-Nazi gang accused of carrying out nine racially motivated murders and the killing of a policewoman will go on trial on Monday.
Beate Zschape is charged with complicity in the murder of eight Turkish men, a Greek man and a German policewoman. She is also charged for her involvement in 15 bank robberies and two nail bombings. Additional charges include arson, founding a terrorist organization and facilitating robbery.
Zschape was a member of a neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Underground (NSU). The group operated undetected by German authorities for 13 years and committed nine murders between 2000 and 2007.
Authorities were alerted to the existence of the group in November of 2011 after two of Zschape’s accomplices killed themselves in a joint pact after a botched bank robbery attempt, which was four days prior to the arrest of Zschape.
Her lawyers argue that she was merely an accomplice, but the prosecution is charging her with forming a terrorist organization.
Zschape, along with Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Bohnhardt, who killed themselves, were the three people that comprised the NSU, with the help of several accomplices, four of whom will also go on trial alongside Zschape.