Tags: EU | Germany | Politician's Death

Political Motive Seen in Killing of Merkel Party Official

Political Motive Seen in Killing of Merkel Party Official

Monday, 17 June 2019 09:37 AM

BERLIN (AP) — German federal prosecutors said Monday they're taking charge of the investigation into the killing of a regional official from Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, amid reports that the slaying may have been politically motivated.

Walter Luebcke, 65, was fatally shot in the head at his home near the central German city of Kassel earlier this month.

Regional prosecutors announced the arrest Saturday of a 45-year-old suspect after his DNA matched evidence found at the scene. They have revealed no further details about the man, but German media reported that he was linked to far-right extremists.

News site Zeit Online reported Monday that the suspect, whom it identified only as Stephan E., had a history of involvement in hate crimes dating back decades, including in a 1993 pipe bomb attack on a refugee shelter in Hesse state.

Public broadcaster SWR reported Monday that investigators suspect a political motive behind the killing and federal prosecutors are taking over the probe due to its potential significance.

Luebcke, a member of the Christian Democratic Union party, ran the Kassel area regional administration in central Germany. He had publicly supported Merkel's welcoming stance toward refugees in recent years.

Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the government hopes that investigators can determine as quickly as possible who killed Luebcke, and why.

Several hundred people attended Luebcke's funeral on Thursday.

This story has been corrected to give the day of the funeral as Thursday, not Saturday.

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German federal prosecutors said Monday they're taking charge of the investigation into the killing of a regional official from Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, amid reports that the slaying may have been politically motivated.Walter Luebcke, 65, was fatally shot in the...
EU,Germany,Politician's Death
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2019-37-17
Monday, 17 June 2019 09:37 AM
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