A man accused of sending threatening letters to a raft of public figures went on trial in the German financial hub Frankfurt on Wednesday.
The letters contained racist insults and death threats, and were often signed “NSU 2.0,” a reference to the National Socialist Underground, a far-right terrorist group that was uncovered over a decade ago.
The trial began with a reading of the long indictment against 54-year-old defendant, identified as Alexander Horst M.
The prosecution accuses him of 67 counts of insulting behaviour, attempted coercion and threatening behaviour, public incitement, possession of child and youth pornography and violation of the Weapons Act.
Alexander Horst M denies the charges. He was filmed standing in court on Wednesday showing his middle fingers to the courtroom.
He allegedly sent his threatening letters by fax and also via email to private individuals and public figures as well as to state authorities.
The series of threats began in 2018 with death threats against the Frankfurt lawyer Seda Basay-Yildiz and her family. Several left-wing politicians also received threatening letters.
In several cases, private data belonging to his female targets had been illegally retrieved from police computers.
Members of the hard-left Die Linke party held a vigil in front of the court building on Wednesday.
Local Die Linke lawmaker Hermann Schaus said: “We want to express our solidarity with those affected by NSU 2.0 and make it clear: Right-wing networks in the police, security agencies and military must be consistently uncovered and dismantled.”
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