Members of a neo-Nazi group suspected of carrying out a seven-year murder spree worked for an informant of Germany's domestic intelligence agency while they were on the run from police, according to German media reports Thursday.
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The reports raise new questions about what German authorities knew of the whereabouts of the self-styled National Socialist Underground, whose members allegedly killed eight Turks, a Greek and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007. The group's sole survivor, Beate Zschaepe, has been on trial since May 2013.
The German daily Die Welt reported that one of Zschaepe's alleged co-conspirators, Uwe Mundlos, worked for a construction company in the eastern town of Zwickau between 2000 and 2002. The newspaper cited documents and unnamed witnesses saying the company belonged to Ralf Marschner, a far-right activist who supplied information to the BfV intelligence agency under the code name "Primus."
Separately, the DPA news agency reported Thursday that Zschaepe worked in a Zwickau store called "Heaven and Hell." The store, which sold far-right paraphernalia, was run by Marschner, it reported.
DPA cited an unnamed former business partner of Marschner's and testimony from a police interview in 2012 for its report.
Zschaepe, Mundlos and the NSU's third member, Uwe Boehnhardt, went underground in 1998. It later emerged that they had lived in Chemnitz and nearby Zwickau until 2011, when Mundlos and Boehnhardt died following a botched heist.
A BfV official referred reporters to a statement that its president gave to the Welt newspaper, in which he stated that the agency had found no information to confirm that Zschaepe and Mundlos had been employed by Marschner.
The agency's previous chief resigned in 2012, months after the NSU's existence came to light, following questions about authorities' failure to apprehend the trio.