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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/r/reher.christian/press/letter-suspect

Archive/File: german-arson-trial
(c) Reuter, May 31, 1995

 Suspect letter confuses German arson-murder trial

    DUESSELDORF, Germany, May 31 (Reuter) - A German court
 trying right-wingers accused of killing five Turks in a
 notorious arson attack was thrown into confusion on Wednesday by
 a letter blaming a Turk for the fire at Solingen.

    The judge said he was not convinced of the authenticity of
 the letter he read out, in which two Turks apparently accused a
 fellow countryman of torching the Genc family home in which the
 five women and girls died two years ago.

    The killing shocked Germans, already worried by a growing
 wave of arson attacks by neo-Nazis since German unification in
 1990. Mass protest marches followed.

    "It is possible that something has been falsified here. At
 the moment that is all we can say," presiding judge Wolfgang
 Steffen said on day 100 of the trial of four young Germans.
   In the letter, allegedly witnessed by a Berlin lawyer
 possibly up to a year ago, the Turks claimed the motive for the
 attack was that the man whose home was burned down had allegedly
 raped the arsonist's wife.

    The court started an investigation, but the Berlin lawyer
 could not immediately be found and one of the Turks whose name
 was on the letter denied having written it.

    One of the defendants, Christian Reher, told the court this
 week he set the blaze on his own. The three others say they are
 innocent. The trial began a year ago.

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