German top judge dismisses some NPD objections in ban case

Top judge at Germany’s Constitutional Court rejects some objections of far-right party, NPD, in ban case

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Andreas Vosskuhle, President of Germany's Constitutional Court enters the courtroom at the start of a trial against the National Democratic Party (NPD) in Karlsruhe, Germany on March 1, 2016.

The top judge at Germany’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday dismissed some objections by the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) to legal attempts to ban it, seen as a threat to the state and ordered that hearings continue.

Lawyers for the NPD, neo-Nazi fringe party, said that the hearings would include details from state-paid informants which is an argument that caused failure of a previous attempt to outlaw the party in 2003.

The lawyers questioned official assurances that ties had been cut to informants among the party’s top officials.

"We have consulted and come to the view that currently there is nothing to stop the proceedings," Court President Andreas Vosskuhle said on the second day of hearings in Karlsruhe.

On Tuesday, the court began hearing requested to ban far-right and anti-immigrant NPD, which openly rails against refugees, more than a decade after the court’s first attempt failed.

Election campaign placards of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), and the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AFD) for the upcoming eastern Saxony-Anhalt state elections are pictured in Wolfen, Germany on February 29, 2016. (Reuters)

The case will now focus on whether the NPD aims to damage or eliminate the liberal democratic order in the country or jeopardize Germany’s existence, as federal states -which have initiated the court action- allege.

The domestic intelligence agency said that the NPD, which has 5,200 members, has close links to neo-Nazis and has branded it anti-Semitic, racist and revisionist.

The case particularly came at a time when a debate was raging in Germany over the effects of a high influx of refugees, many from the Middle East.

The NPD has never won enough support to be represented at a federal level but it secured a European Parliament seat in 2014 and has one seat in the eastern state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern assembly.

TRTWorld and agencies