Daily Israel Report

German Neo-Nazi Party Appeals to Court for Legitimization

Germany's neo-Nazi NPD party said on Tuesday it had turned to the constitutional court for confirmation of its legitimacy.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 11/14/2012, 12:33 PM

German Interior minister appeals to constitutional court judges
German Interior minister appeals to constitutional court judges
Reuters

Germany's neo-Nazi NPD party said on Tuesday it had turned to the constitutional court for confirmation of its legitimacy, AFP reported.

The move came amid reports that regional interior ministers were seeking to acquire a ban on the group from the same authority.

"I just filed a petition a few minutes ago before the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe to have the NPD's conformity to the constitution recognized," said National Democratic Party of Germany head Holger Apfel in a video posted Tuesday on the party website.

A court spokesman confirmed to AFP that the petition had been filed.

Apfel said that if the request were rejected he would turn to the European Court of Human Rights for confirmation of the party’s legitimization.

In March, Germany's regional interior ministers announced that they would try to assemble a case towards getting the NPD banned. They are expected to file a formal request next month.

In November of last year, a poll showed that three-quarters of Germans endorsed a ban on the NPD, in a survey that followed the discovery of an extreme far-right cell believed to have murdered 10 people, mainly Turkish shopkeepers, according to AFP.

Last week, German prosecutors said they brought murder charges against 37-year-old Beate Zschaepe, who is said to have been at the heart of the neo-Nazi cell accused of the seven-year killing spree.

The NPD, founded in 1964, won 1.5 percent of the vote at the last national elections in 2009.