Germany "wants foreign media coverage of NSU trial"

German FM Guido Westerwelle said that they wanted foreigners to closely follow NSU case to begin on April 17 in Munich

German FM Guido Westerwelle said that they wanted foreigners to closely follow NSU case to begin on April 17 in Munich

In a statement made after meeting the Turkish Ambassador in Berlin Huseyin Avni Karslioglu, Westerwelle said that Germany was a country which punished extreme rightists as a country respecting the rule of law and that they wanted foreigners to closely follow the NSU case.

Westerwelle made a call on the Munich court to find an acceptable solution in letting Turkish journalists cover the case.

-Reactions from Turkey against the German court-

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on March 30 phoned his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle and asked for his assistance in letting Turkish officials and journalists attend the NSU case.

Diplomatic sources said that Davutoglu conveyed Turkey's views on the NSU case to Westerwelle and reminded Westerwelle that the case was closely followed by the Turkish people.

Westerwelle, in his part, told Ahmet Davutoglu that they shared the views of the Turkish government.

The Higher State Court of Munich on March 28 said they would not make any changes on their list of accreditation which had the names of 50 media establishments after various Turkish media groups sent letters to the court for their inclusion in the list of accreditation to cover the Nationalist Socialist Underground (NSU) case.

Chief Judge of the Munich court, Karl Huber underlined that the current list of accreditation would remain in force with no changes.

Huber said, however, that if a certain media organization was to give up seat during the covering of the case, a Turkish media organization could fill that seat during the case.

-AA asks accreditation from German court to follow NSU case-

On March 27, Anadolu Agency (AA) sent a letter to the Higher State Court of Munich in order to be added in accreditation list to follow the trial of National Socialist Underground (NSU).

Anadolu Agency's Board Chairman & Director General Kemal Ozturk said in his letter that the trial of NSU terrorist organization, which would begin on April 17, 2013 in Munich, was a priority for Turkish public opinion, and recalled that eight of the ten people who had been killed by NSU between 2000 and 2007 were Turks.

Ozturk noted that the trial of the last-surviving member of NSU Beate Zschaepe would be a top agenda item for Turkish media.

Noting that AA had nearly 1,500 subscriber media institutions, Ozturk said that despite applications of AA to the court in order to take place in accreditation list, the court did not include AA in the list.

It would be a relief to Turkish public opinion if Turkey's national news agency AA followed the news regarding the trial as eight of the victims were of Turkish descent, said Ozturk.

Ozturk demanded the court to include the AA in the list of accredited media organs to follow the trial.

NSU is alleged to have murdered eight people with Turkish backgrounds, one with Greek roots and one German policewoman between 2000 and 2007, in addition to committing other crimes including a nail bomb attack in 2004 in a district of Cologne where many Turkish immigrants live, injuring 22 people.

Of the group's three members -- Uwe Bohnhardt, Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschaepe -- only Zschaepe survives. She turned herself into police after Mundlos and Bohnhardt committed suicide following a botched bank robbery in November 2011. She has been charged with being an accessory to the murders and bomb attacks carried out by the NSU, as well as arson, founding a terrorist organization and facilitating robbery. Four alleged accomplices will also be tried.

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