A court Friday found four young right-wing extremists guilty of murdering five Turkish women and children in the deadliest attack on foreigners in Germany since the Nazi era.
The five-judge panel convicted the four of setting a fire that swept through a house in Solingen two years ago as a Turkish family slept inside. Three little girls and two young women were killed.Markus Gartmann, 25, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and the three others each received 10-year terms - the maximum they could get because they were juveniles at the time of the fire. Gartmann had faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Chief Judge Wolfgang Steffen repeatedly called for order as the father of Christian Buchholz, 22, snorted with rage, kicked the chair of a guard and raced out of the courtroom, slamming the door behind him.
The youngest defendant, 18-year-old Felix Koehnen, screamed at the judges: "You swine, I am innocent!"
The May 29, 1993 firebombing shamed Germany before the world. Germans marched across the country to show their sorrow. In Solingen, Turks rioted for days.
German news media called it one of the most important trials since Germany's unification in 1990. Federal investigators launched a nationwide manhunt. The country felt purged when, days after the attack, the four Solingen youths were arrested.
But the prosecution soon ran into trouble, and some had feared that the court would return not guilty verdicts - putting a severe strain on slowly improving relations between Germans and the country's 2 million Turks.
Prosecutors in the 18-month trial had based much of their case on the confessions of two defendants, one of whom has since recanted.