Germany charges neo-Nazi with politician’s murder

German prosecutors says they have formally charged a known neo-Nazi with the June 2019 murder of a pro-refugee politician, the first in a string of recent far-right killings.

Federal investigators say 45-year-old Stephan Ernst drove to Walter Luebcke’s house in Wolfhagen, central Germany, on the evening of June 1, 2019.

He crept up under cover of darkness to the terrace where Luebcke sat before shooting him in the head with a revolver.

Ernst’s “racism and xenophobia founded on an ethnic-nationalist attitude were decisive in the act,” prosecutors say in a statement.

The suspect and his fellow accused, identified only as Markus H., had attended a political meeting in October 2015 where Luebcke argued in favor of accommodating refugees in the town of Lohfelden.

Ernst “from the time of the meeting increasingly projected his xenophobia onto Dr Walter Luebcke,” a regional politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU party, prosecutors say.

Following mass sexual assaults by migrants against women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015 and a July 2016 terror attack in French city Nice, Ernst began spying on Luebcke in preparation for the murder, traveling repeatedly to the politician’s house to make his plans.

Meanwhile, fellow defendant Markus H., who is charged with complicity in the murder, helped Ernst train with firearms in forests and at gun clubs between 2016 and 2018, “including with the murder weapon.”

Ernst had already inflicted “serious wounds” to the chest and spine of an Iraqi asylum-seeker living in Lohfelden in a January 2016 knife attack that left the victim in intensive care.

Arrested soon afterwards, H. was found to be in possession of a deactivated submachine gun.


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