Prosecutors have added murder charges to a list of allegations against National Socialist Underground member Beate Zschäpe. She has now been formally implicated in ten murders allegedly carried out by the neo-Nazi terrorist group.
German state prosecutors have requested that Zschäpe be charged with involvement in the killings, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Saturday. She has also been implicated in 14 robberies and attempted murder in connection with arson.
Zschäpe already stood accused of being a founding member of the far-right terrorist organization, the National Socialist Underground (NSU). But her involvement in the group’s alleged murder of nine immigrant shop owners and a policewoman has long been a source of speculation.
Now it appears that prosecutors at the Federal Prosecutors Office believe she played a more instrumental role as an accomplice to fellow NSU founding members Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt than previously thought.
The Zwickau-based group was uncovered late last year when Mundlos and Böhnhardt were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide pact after a botched bank robbery.
Zschäpe is accused of setting fire to the trio's Zwickau home, while an 89-year-old neighbor may have been next door. She handed herself in several days later.
It’s been requested that the 37-year-old’s detention time be extended to allow for further investigation.
Zschäpe is yet to comment on the latest charges, but is said to have enlarged her defence team. She has already been in custody for nine months while prosecutors probe the case.
Several other suspected NSU associates have been arrested since the group came to the attention of police in November.