Munich, April 15, 2013
The Press Secretary of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice stated in reply: "This is a matter for the Supreme Court alone".
The cross was removed shortly before proceedings opened on April 17 for the trial of the case of members of a Neo-Nazi group "National Socialist Underground", 8 of 10 of whose victims were of Turkish origin.
Already, several weeks before legal proceedings opened, a scandal had flared up in Germany because out of 50 seats allotted for journalists, representatives of the Turkish media received none.
Also, not long before the beginning of the proceedings lawyers of the main defendant, Beate Tschepe, had complained to the Supreme Court of discrimination. On the orders of the judge, Manfred Getzel, lawyers were searched each time they entered the court-room in order to check that they were not carrying explosives or other dangerous objects. That rule did not apply to other participants in the trial. These facts have drawn a wide response in the media, and so the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe permitted journalists from the Turkish Press to be present at the Munich court during proceedings. And at the same time, just in case, they decided to remove the cross from the court-room.