German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer reported today that the neonazi Stephan Ernst has confessed the murder of the German local politician Walter Lübcke, a case that has shaken the country in recent weeks and has returned to headlines the rebirth of ultra sentiment.
"The public prosecutor has informed us that the alleged murderer has confessed," Seehofer told reporters after a closed session of the German Parliament's internal commission (Bundestag). "We are pleased with that success, but for us the investigations have not ended. We have to continue working to determine if there were accomplices, "he added. Seehofer insisted that although Ernst claims to have acted alone that does not close the case.
In the session of the Interior Committee, dedicated exclusively to the "Lübcke case", participated, in addition to Seehofer, the federal prosecutor Peter Frank, the president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, and the president of the Federal Criminal Office (BKA), Holger Münch.
Lübcke was killed in his house between June 1 and 2 of a shot in the head. The police found traces of DNA that took them to the track of Stephan Ernst, a character belonging to the world of the far right in the federal state of Hesse (central Germany).
Belonging to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, Lübcke had become a figure hated by the extreme right for his attitude of defense of the refugees. In 2015 he had responded to insults during an act by saying that those who did not share certain humanitarian values were free to leave the country. His murder has revived in Germany the debate on extreme right-wing violence. In the investigations into the murder it has been known that the name of Lübcke was on a list of possible targets of the neo-Nazi terrorist group National Socialist Clandestination (NSU).
In the discussion about crime too there have been voices that have blamed the extreme right wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party with parliamentary representation, for having contributed to creating a climate of hatred and therefore to be partly responsible for the murder. The president of the CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has said that any member of his party who thinks about a possible cooperation with AfD must close his eyes for a moment and imagine Walter Lübcke.
Links with the extreme right
It is a known fact for years, but the confession of Stephan Ernst strengthens- with a media case like this one, the link between crime and the extreme right and reinforces as a motive the refusal of the author to the official policy of welcoming refugees.
Ernst, 45 years old and known in neo-Nazi circles of Hesse (center), was arrested on June 17 and the Federal Prosecutor's Office then announced that it was investigating Lübcke's murder as an "extreme right-wing act". According to "Der Spiegel", the murderer was even present at the event in which Lübcke defended the reception of refugees in 2015, the year of the avalanche of these in German territory. However, the authorities have not specified what could have been the motives for the crime, which Minister Seehofer describes as "political murder".
The murder of Lübcke has revived in Germany the debate on extreme right-wing violence, and from that side of the political spectrum the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party tried today to divert attention towards an eventual participation of the mafia in crime, according to the revelation of details of this Wednesday's meeting in the Bundestag that some media did.
It is also not known why Ernst was not subject to surveillance despite the knowledge of its potential dangerousness; and calls for a tightening of the powers of the secret services were soon linked by the AfD to the Government's alleged intention to limit fundamental rights.
Merkel today assured questions precisely from the AfD that she does not know any specific reason that could trigger the Article 18 of the German Constitution, which provides for the deprivation of fundamental rights, such as when the freedom of expression or secrecy of postal communications and telecommunications is abused.
Behind is the suspicion of the right-wingers that they want to take advantage of the moment of concern to tackle political violence to limit the dissemination of messages from those who support their ideas in both social networks and traditional media.