German neo-Nazi trial: Defense calls for release of suspect
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German neo-Nazi trial: Defense calls for release of suspect

Attorneys argue that Beate Zschäpe can only be tried for arson and any sentence would be covered by the six years she has already been in custody

Defendant Beate Zschaepe arrives for the continuation of her trial at a courtroom in Munich, southern Germany on June 5, 2018. (Matthias Schrader/AFP/POOL)
Defendant Beate Zschaepe arrives for the continuation of her trial at a courtroom in Munich, southern Germany on June 5, 2018. (Matthias Schrader/AFP/POOL)

BERLIN — Lawyers for the main defendant in a high-profile neo-Nazi murder trial in Germany are asking for her immediate release, arguing she wasn’t involved in the killings, bombings, and bank robberies committed by her friends.

Prosecutors accuse Beate Zschäpe of being part of the National Socialist Underground that allegedly targeted migrants, killing 10 people between 2000 and 2007.

Two other members were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in 2011.

Three of Zschäpe’s court-appointed lawyers argued Tuesday she could only be tried for arson. Since the 43-year-old has been in custody for over six years, any sentence would be covered by time served.

Zschäpe’s other two lawyers previously asked for a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The trial, which began in 2013, is expected to conclude in the coming weeks.

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