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2 neo-Nazis on trial accused of killing German politician

A German court will begin hearing the case against two far-right extremists accused of killing a regional politician whose execution-style slaying shocked the country last year.

Walter Luebcke, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party who led the regional administration in the Kassel area of central Germany, was shot on his porch on June 1, 2019, and died later that night. He was known as a supporter of Merkel's decision to allow hundreds of thousands of refugees into the country in 2015.

Stephan Ernst, a 46-year-old with previous convictions for violent anti-migrant crimes, will appear in the Frankfurt regional court on Tuesday accused of murder, attempted murder, serious bodily harm and firearms offenses.

FILE -- In this Tuesday, July 2, 2019 photo the suspect Stephan E., center, is escorted to a helicopter in Karlsruhe, Germany. German prosecutors have charged far-right extremist with the killing last year of a regional politician Walter Luebcke from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party and a near-fatal attack on an Iraqi asylum-seeker in 2016. (Uli Deckdpa via AP, file)

A second man, identified only as Markus H. due to privacy rules, is charged with being an accessory to murder and breaking firearms laws.

Police officers walk in front of the justice building before a trial against Stephan E. in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. German prosecutors have charged the far-right extremist with the killing last year of the regional politician Walter Luebcke from Chancellor Angela Merkel's party and a near-fatal attack on an Iraqi asylum-seeker in 2016. (AP PhotoMichael Probst)

Journalists queue in front of the justice building before a trial against Stephan E. in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. German prosecutors have charged the far-right extremist with the killing last year of the regional politician Walter Luebcke from Chancellor Angela Merkel's party and a near-fatal attack on an Iraqi asylum-seeker in 2016. (AP PhotoMichael Probst)