NSU trial seats chosen via lottery system | News | DW | 29.04.2013
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NSU trial seats chosen via lottery system

The 50 press seats for the trial of an alleged neo-Nazi terrorist have been chosen via a court-run lottery system. Because the murder victims were of Turkish and Greek origin, both countries automatically received seats.

The trial of alleged neo-Nazi Beate Zschäpe was originally due to start earlier this month but was postponed to May 6 after Germany's top court ruled that the Munich court had to provide seats for foreign journalists. The allocation of seats included four for the Turkish press and one for the Greek media.

In the initial process, foreign journalists were not given any of the 50 seats, allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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NSU trial seats chosen

The Turkish newspaper Sabah appealed to Germany's top court about the allocation of seats and a quota was implemented.

Turkey-based media that won seats include Al Jazeera's Istanbul bureau and the newspapers Sabah and Hurriyet. The Greek newspaper Evrensel will also be represented.

Major German dailies such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung did not secure seats. News agencies Reuters, Associated Press and Agence France Presse also did not receive seats.

Süddeutsche Zeitung's weekend magazine has, however, gained a place at the trial, along with the weeklies Der Spiegel and Focus. German press agency DPA also won a lottery spot.

The German public broadcaster ARD, which works in connection with Deutsche Welle, among other media outlets, also received a seat.

Small and regional German media outlets secured many of the remaining spots.

The trial of the decade

The court will try Beate Zschäpe, the only surviving member a neo-Nazi cell, the National Socialist Underground (NSU).

The NSU is accused of murdering 10 people between 2000 and 2007 - eight of them with Turkish roots, a Greek locksmith and a German policewoman. The group was only uncovered in 2011.

Berlin has publicly apologized to the victims' families for the police detectives who failed to spot and connect clues of neo-Nazi involvement and for also treating the families as potential suspects during the investigations. Other suggestions included that the killings might have been linked to organized crime. The case either directly or indirectly led to leadership reshuffles in Germany's federal domestic intelligence agency - and in some of its regional branches.

Four others are also to stand trial for providing support to the NSU.

hc/kms (AFP, dpa)

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