A neo-Nazi arrested for shooting a German MP in the head at close range has allegedly confessed to committing the Jo Cox-style murder.
Neo-nazi Stephan Ernst, 45, was arrested on 15th June on suspicion of having murdered Walter Luebcke, 65, a former state MP who at the time of his murder on 2nd June was the president of the prefecture of Kassel, one of three such prefectures in the central Geman state of Hesse.
Luebcke, a politician from Angela Merkel’s Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) party, was shot through the head at close range in his home in the Hessian city of Kassel.
Investigators managed to trace Ernst after they found a skin particle on Luebcke’s clothes which reportedly gave a direct match in a DNA-databank where Ernst was on record.
According to local media, Ernst has now confessed to murdering Luebcke.
The participants of a closed-door meeting of the Interior Committee of the German Parliament reportedly leaked to the media that chief federal prosecutor Peter Frank told them about Ernst’s confession.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Germany’s domestic security agency) Thomas Haldenwang and chief of the Federal Criminal Police Office Holger Muench also participated in the committee meeting held yesterday (Wednesday) along with Frank.
At the meeting, MPs could ask questions and receive answers about the latest findings from the investigation into Luebcke’s murder.
Armin Schuster, an MP from the CDU and the committee’s chair, said before the meeting that it would hopefully bring an end to all speculation about Ernst’s motives and exact links with extremist groups.
Schuster said: “All those who can give profound information are there [in the meeting].”
According to local media, Ernst confessed to the cops that he had planned the murder and acted alone, although this information has not yet been publicly confirmed by the police.
He reportedly said that his motive was his disgust at comments made by Luebcke at the height of the refugee crisis.
At the time, Luebcke caused controversy by saying that Germany was built on Christian values, which included helping those in need, such as refugees.
He said: “Anyone who does not share these values can leave this country at any time, that’s the freedom of every German.”
The statement resulted in strong criticism from the far right, with some calling for his resignation.
Ernst is currently held in investigative custody. Despite his alleged confession, the police are still investigating whether there are possible accomplices or links with extremist groups.
Ernst has a criminal record ranging from GBH, theft, burglary, violation of weapons laws to an attempted bomb attack on a refugee accommodation in 1993 and a knife attack on a migrant in 1992.
He is a known, violent neo-Nazi who has reportedly been stopped multiple times at neo-Nazi protests for throwing rocks and holding a knife.
He is suspected of being a member of “Combat 18”, which stands for “Combat Group Adolf Hitler” (with the 1 and 8 referring to the letters A and H in the alphabet) and is considered the armed section of the “Blood and Honor” network which has been forbidden in Germany since 2000.
Extremism expert Hajo Funke said: “The structures of Combat 18 are highly criminal and characterised by an ideology that wants absolute terrorist violence – such as murder.”
Ernst was reportedly so irked by Angela Merkel’s government that he wrote on the internet that “either the government will soon abdicate or there will be deaths”.
The murder weapon in the Luebcke-case, a 9-mm calibre gun, is still missing. However, investigators report that believed neo-Nazis based around Ernst tried to buy those types of guns in 2015 in a deal which was then uncovered by the cops.
The investigation is ongoing.
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