By Sylvia Cunningham and William Glucroft
The right-wing extremist accused of fatally shooting Kassel’s district president Walter Lübcke last June confessed to the crime on Wednesday at the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt.
In addressing Lübcke’s family, 46-year-old Stephan E. said what he did was “inexcusable” and that he was guided by “wrong thoughts.”
Stephan E. first confessed to the shooting back in 2019 but later recanted, placing the blame on his co-defendant, who is charged with aiding the killing.
The killing of Lübcke, a pro-immigration politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU, shocked the country last year and prompted new concern over right-wing extremism in Germany.
The German government has lifted COVID-19 travel warnings for some of Turkey’s top tourist destinations.
Turkey’s Mediterranean provinces of Antalya, Izmir, Muğla and Aydın are now exempt from the general travel warning in the country. Germany’s foreign office said it’s due to special hygiene measures in place there.
A negative COVID-19 test is required before returning to Germany, which can cost travelers up to 50 euros.
Not everyone is satisfied with the change, with German Parliament member Sevim Dagdelen from the Left Party telling public broadcaster ARD the government’s decision to lift the warning is “totally incomprehensible,” given warnings from the Turkish health minister about rising infection rates there.
Turkey is a top three destination abroad for German tourists, according to the German Travel Association.
Berlin’s police chief and interior senator say they’re stepping up efforts to prevent and combat extremism in the city’s police ranks.
One aspect of the 11-point plan they presented on Wednesday is to expand an anonymous whistleblower system so that officers can report extremist tendencies or behavior among their colleagues.
Berlin’s interior ministry also intends to conduct more thorough background checks on both prospective officers and employees.
According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, there are more than 30 open cases related to politically motivated misconduct by Berlin police officers.
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.