Germany's Constitutional Court rejected on Tuesday an attempt by the country's 16 federal states to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), described by the intelligence agency as racist and anti-Semitic, saying it was too weak to pose a threat.
In the closely-watched ruling, which comes amid concern over rising support for right-wing groups due to resentment about an influx of migrants, the court's president Andreas Vosskuhle said, however, that the party was anti-constitutional in nature.
"The NPD pursues anti-constitutional goals but at the moment there is an insufficient weight of evidence to make it appear possible that their behavior will result in success," said Vosskuhle.
The federal states started exploring a legal ban after the chance discovery of the National Socialist Underground in 2011, blamed for killing nine immigrants and a police woman between 2000 and 2007.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now