Murder of Walter Lübcke

The murder of Walter Lübcke occurred on 2 June 2019 in Istha [de], Germany, near Kassel: The district president Walter Lübcke was killed in front of his home with a shot from close range in the head. On 15 June 2019, Hessian right-wing extremist Stephan Ernst was arrested as the prime suspect. On June 25, 2019 he made a confession, which he recanted on 2 July 2019. He was convicted January 28, 2021.[1]

Lübcke had campaigned for the admittance of refugees and had opposed the agitation against them by the Kagida, the Kassel offshoot of Pegida, at a public meeting in October 2015. After that, he received numerous death threats.

Lübcke's killing, its background and consequences are the subject of a broad public debate in Germany. Right-wing terrorism, executed by Combat 18 and related structures of fascists, got more observers. Discussions include the German security authorities' knowledge of the suspects, the possible co-responsibility of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) for the murder, the CDU's relationship with the AfD, increasing attacks on local politicians and the lack of prosecution of hate crime in social networks.

AssassinationEdit

On 2 June 2019, Lübcke was found dead on the terrace of his residence in the village of Istha [de]. He had been shot in the head at close range with an illegal owned Rossi .38 revolver.[2] On 15 June 2019, a 45-year-old suspect Stephan Ernst was arrested.

Stephan ErnstEdit

Stephan Ernst was born 1973 in Wiesbaden and since 1984 grew up at Holzhausen, a part of Hohenstein (Untertaunus).[3] Ernst is married and the father of two children. He lived in the eastern part of Kassel.[4]

At the time of the killing of Walter Lübcke, Ernst was already known to have held extreme right-wing political views and had links to the German branch of the neo-Nazi terrorist group Combat 18 (C18). Also he had connections to the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) and Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD)[5] parties.

Ernst had been previously convicted for knife and bomb attacks against targets connected to ethnic minorities in Germany.[6][7][8]

Having retracted his confession, he was formally charged with murder on 29 April 2020[9] and went on trial for the crime in June, along with alleged accomplice Markus H.[10] Ernst was convicted on 28 January 2021 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Markus H. was acquitted of accessory to murder but convicted of illegal gun possession. [11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Neo-Nazi convicted of murder of German regional governor". Die Welt. 28 January 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  2. ^ https://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/mordfall-walter-luebcke-schussgutachter-belasten-mutmasslichen-taeter-schwer-a-1277624.html
  3. ^ C. Brause et al.: Mordfall Lübcke: Kindheit in Springerstiefeln. Die Welt, 24 June 2019 (kostenpflichtig)
  4. ^ Mordfall Walter Lübcke: Was wir über den Tatverdächtigen wissen. Spiegel Online, 26 June 2019
  5. ^ "Father, Neighbor, Killer: Germany's Chilling New Far-Right Terror". DER SPIEGEL. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Suspect in German politician's murder 'has links to far right'". The Guardian. Agence France-Presse. 16 June 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  7. ^ Wienand, Lars (17 June 2019). "Getöteter Politiker Walter Lübcke: Bundesanwaltschaft geht von rechtsextremem Anschlag aus". T-Online (in German). Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Erschossener CDU-Politiker Lübcke: Verdächtiger hatte offenbar Kontakt zu militanten Neonazis von "Combat 18"". Spiegel Online (in German). 17 June 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Prosecutors charge neo-Nazi with German politician's murder". AP NEWS. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  10. ^ Agency, Reuters News (16 June 2020). "Neo-Nazi Stephan Ernst goes on trial for killing CDU politician Walter Luebcke". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Neo-Nazi convicted of murder of German regional governor". Die Welt. 28 January 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.