Berlin approves commission on neo-Nazi murders | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 08.02.2012
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Berlin approves commission on neo-Nazi murders

The German government has given the green light to a commission that will look into 10 murders allegedly carried out by a neo-Nazi cell. A similar parliamentary committee is to work parallel, but may become a competitor.

The German cabinet agreed on Wednesday to establish a four-person commission representing the federal and state governments to investigate the neo-Nazi cell suspected in the murders of at least 10 people.

The commission is to especially look into communication failures among Germany's patchwork of domestic security and law enforcement agencies.

The self-titled National Socialist Underground is believed to have murdered 10 people, nine of them with an immigrant background, between 2000 and 2007. Its ability to evade detection for more than a decade has led to sharp criticism of the state security apparatus.

"One of the consequences of the terrible murder series by right-wing extremists has to be the comprehensive sharing of information on all levels of state security agencies," Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told the dapd news agency.

The group is to comprise one representative of each of the four largest parties in parliament: former Berlin interior minister Ehrhart Körting, Hamburg's former interior minister Heino Vahldieck, Munich-based criminal law expert Eckhart Müller and former federal prosecutor Bruno Jost.

Germany's upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, which is made up of representatives from the 16 state governments, is expected to approve the commission soon.

The lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, voted to establish its own investigative committee last month. The two investigations are to run in parallel and in cooperation, although parliamentary investigative committees are often used by the opposition as a weapon against the government.

The government commission is to present its findings before the next legislative election in 2013.

acb/cmk (AFP, dpa, dapd)