In the case of the allegedly right-wing extremist series of attacks in the Berlin district of Neukölln, the Attorney General's Office has opened the case - on suspicion of bias against a previously investigating public prosecutor. In one of the investigations into the arson attacks "circumstances have emerged that indicate the bias of one of the prosecutors," says a statement by the authority, which Berlin Senator for Justice Dirk Behrendt (Greens) spread on Twitter. In order to counteract any appearance of improper handling in these proceedings, the attorney general had decided to take over all the "investigations into the criminal offenses to the detriment of those involved in right-wing extremism in Neukölln".
The state prosecutor's office's previous investigations would be reviewed and then continued. Two of the prosecutors who worked on the cases are now expected to work in other departments.
For years there have been threats to people in Neukölln who are committed to refugees and against racism, anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism. Their cars went up in flames or stones were thrown at their windows. Right-wing extremists are suspected. However, the investigation has so far brought little knowledge. At the end of 2019, police president Barbara Slowik had admitted mistakes in police work.
According to the RBB, a petition had criticized the fact that the alleged perpetrators were known, but the investigation was repeatedly stopped. Despite knowledge of the security authorities, those affected were not informed of their danger.
According to earlier statements, the police attribute 72 cases of extreme right-wing acts in Neukölln, including 23 arson. Many of these were committed between late 2016 and mid-2017. After arson attacks on the cars of a local politician and a bookseller in early 2018, the police searched homes of right-wing extremists. The arsonists could not be convicted. The police assume a total of three suspects.
In June it was announced that an investigation was also underway against a chief police commissioner who is said to have had contact with one of the suspects via a former AfD chat group. The commissioner is said to have disclosed official secrets to this chat group.
It was a coincidence that the Attorney General Margarete Koppers told the rbb24 Recherche editorial team. The transferred prosecutors were therefore both responsible for investigating the right-wing extremist series of attacks in Neukölln.
Victim lawyer complained
According to the report, the starting point for the investigation by the General Prosecutor's Office so far was the complaint of a victim lawyer. During the internal review of the investigation documents, an employee came across statements that gave rise to suspicions of bias.
He looked at protocols of the main suspect's phone surveillance - not specifically, but rather by accident. In at least one recorded conversation, one of the suspects allegedly said that there was no need to worry about the prosecutor.
Attorney General Koppers said there was a hearing after the Attorney General's examination. After that, one of the prosecutors is said to have requested transfer, the second should be implemented.