Dozens of political crimes are said to have been committed by rights. The investigation is ongoing and a trial is pending. Parliament wants to clarify whether everything went correctly.
The Left Berlin
Depending on the definition, between 70 and 650 attacks, assaults or attacks on actors from the left spectrum were carried out in Neukölln over several years up to 2019 – including politicians, activists and a bookseller. The perpetrators are suspected to be right-wing extremists. The investigation dragged on.
The Attorney General’s Office only filed charges in 2021, with two men aged 36 and 39 being the main suspects. Both are currently in custody. They are said to have tried to intimidate people who are active against right-wing extremism. The act from the night of February 1, 2018, when the two men are said to have set fire to the cars of left-wing politician Ferat Kocak and another man, was particularly spectacular.
Now a parliamentary committee of inquiry has resumed its work. This had been interrupted because of the repeat election at the beginning of the year.
In Neukölln, more suspects had to be released over the years. Most recently, a 38-year-old, who was initially in the dock with the main suspects, was sentenced to a fine of 4,500 euros for damage to property. In 2017, he stuck stickers with a clearly right-wing reference to bus stops and junction boxes.
But why was the taking of evidence so incomplete in many cases? Why did the investigation take so long? Why is judgment so late? Could the investigators be blind in the right eye? The fact that the murder of 22-year-old Burak Bektas in Neukölln in 2012 has still not been solved fuels distrust. This also applies to possible but presumably undetermined connections to the murder of Luke Holland in 2015. A man was sentenced to eleven and a half years in prison for this act.
When the political pressure was particularly great, the Greens, the Left and parts of the SPD pushed through a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the so-called Neukölln complex in the House of Representatives last year. The committee should clarify whether there were errors and glitches. And it was also about signaling to the victims and those affected that politics would take care of them. Critics spoke of a baseless general suspicion and a waste of energy. What was a parliament supposed to dig up that investigators hadn’t discovered or hadn’t raised at trials?
Investigative Committee Neukölln: Even the AfD takes part
Nevertheless, the FDP was there from the start, after initial hesitation, the CDU also agreed to the establishment of the committee, and in the end even the AfD took part.
At the first meeting dates, victims and those affected were heard, now it is the turn of the representatives of the authorities. For this purpose, access to further files has been requested. When there could be a final report is open. The body is in place until the end of the 2026 legislative period.
After the break forced by the re-election, the committee resumed its work on Friday. However, the new black-red government coalition could now slow down the green and left-wing enlightenment furor.
The SPD representative Orkan Özdemir did not want to know anything about a realignment on Friday. “I don’t see that,” he said. The social democrat with Turkish parents has always spoken out against a blanket condemnation. The aim can and must be to improve the work of the police and public prosecutors.
In his own words, the CDU politician Stephan Standfuss also doesn’t think much of a blockade policy. He has “no interest in constantly flexing his muscles,” says Standfuss in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung. On the contrary, they are always looking for “amicable solutions with the opposition”. And there is one thing that everyone agrees on anyway: If it turns out that mistakes have been made, they must be “named clearly and corrected with all severity”.
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