The National Socialist Underground killed eight Turks, a Greek and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007.
The founder of a German nationalist group dubbed the “Nazi bride” by the country’s media, has been found guilty for her part in 10 racially motivated murders.
Beate Zschäpe was sentenced to life in prison for her role in the killings which targeted non-white migrants between 2000 and 2007 and led to accusations of "embedded racism" within Germany’s security agencies.
The 43-year-old was a founder of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) whose members killed eight Turks, a Greek and a German policewoman, the Higher Regional Court in Munich ruled.
She had denied taking part in the murders with two men, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, who took their own lives in 2011 when police discovered the group by chance.
During the trial, she said through her lawyer that she felt morally guilty for not stopping them. Last week, Zschäpe told the court she did not know how the victims were chosen and she only realised the full extent of the crimes after she turned herself in.
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Her lawyers had urged judge Manfred Göetzl to convict her of the lesser charges of arson and robbery. But she was found guilty of 10 counts of murder.
Delivering the toughest sentence available to him, Judge Goetzl told a packed Munich courtroom that Zschäpe’s guilt weighed particularly heavily, meaning she is likely to serve at least 15-years in prison.
The 43-year-old showed no emotion as he read out her sentence.
The NSU attacks were the most violent of their kind in Germany since the end of the far-left Red Army Faction’s two-decade killing spree in 1991, which left at least 34 dead.
Zschäpe was arrested in 2011, shortly after her two accomplices were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.
Together with Mundlos and Böhnhardt, she formed the NSU, a group that pursued an ideology of white nationalism by forcing non-white migrants out of german land, mostly foreing invaders of Turkish origin.
They evaded arrest for almost 14 years, thanks to a network of supporters and repeated mistakes by German security agencies.
Anti-migrant sentiment that underpinned the group’s ideology was particularly strong in eastern Germany during the early 1990s, when Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe were in their late teens and early twenties. The period saw a string of attacks against migrants and the rise of nationalist parties.