January 18, 2019
Mehmet Daimagüler, one of the lawyers for the families of victims in Germany’s notorious National Socialist Underground (NSU) case, says he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Addressing a conference on the NSU and racism in Germany at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul yesterday, Daimagüler said he did not trust German courts and did not expect much from the legal process in Germany regarding the neo-Nazi gang.
The NSU, composed of three members, were behind the murders of eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007. Two members killed themselves when the police closed in on them, while the sole surviving member, Beate Zschaepe, was sentenced to life in a trial that concluded last year.
“I don’t trust German courts and that’s why we filed a compensation lawsuit [for the victims]. If the German government, state administrations did their jobs properly, if police did not look into the murders through a racist angle, people would not get killed,” the lawyer said.
The lawyer said he was certain cases against the NSU would be “lost,” referring to appeals to the sentence for Zschaepe and the gang’s accomplices who got away with lenient sentences. “But we will take these cases to the European Court of Human Rights afterwards,” he said.
Daimagüler also spoke about threats the lawyers of victims faced. “I’ve received about 1,600 threats so far but I didn’t take them seriously. Barking dogs seldom bite,” he added. However, he expressed concern about threats to fellow lawyer Seda Başay Yıldız. “It was discovered that threats were linked to a police station and had everything from the address of her residences to the address of her parents. It is also a big scandal that police told Yıldız that they can’t protect her properly and suggested she buy a gun to defend herself,” he said.