Murder of cdu politician walter lubcke: stephan ernst has confessed

The suspect in the Lubcke case has confessed. He also says he alone made the decision to kill the government president.

Was shot on his terrace: Walter Lubcke Photo: dpa

Stephan Ernst, the suspect for the murder of Kassel government president Walter Lubcke, has made a confession. This was confirmed on Wednesday morning by Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) in Berlin. Ernst had described himself as a lone perpetrator. "I am glad that this quick success has taken place," Seehofer said.

Stephan Ernst allegedly murdered CDU politician Lubcke with a shot to the head in front of his house in Wolfhagen-Istha near Kassel in Hesse on the night of June 2. Because of a skin particle of him on Lubckes clothes, the police had arrested Ernst one and a half weeks ago. The 45-year-old from Kassel has a history of right-wing extremism, and the Federal Prosecutor’s Office considers the crime to be politically motivated.

Lubcke had come into the focus of right-wing extremists because in 2015 he offensively advocated the acceptance of refugees at a citizens’ meeting. Anyone who did not stand up for these values "can leave this country at any time," he said at the time. A video of this statement went viral in the far-right scene, and Lubcke was already receiving massive threats at the time.

According to media reports, Stephan Ernst was also at Lubcke’s citizens’ meeting at the time. He is said to have described his act as a reaction to the CDU politician’s remarks.

Investigators had him no longer on the screen

Only on Tuesday investigators had searched again the house of Stephan Ernst in Kassel, on the same day he is to have put down his confession. Despite the self-incrimination as a lone perpetrator, Stephan Ernst’s environment is still being clarified and it is being examined whether there were confidants and accomplices, Seehofer said. "We are doing everything humanly possible to clarify this act."

Most recently, there had been indications that, in addition to Stephan Ernst’s car, a second one could have left the scene of the crime. In addition, Ernst is said to at least in the past contact with people of the militant Combat18 network. Asked about the group, Seehofer said that at the moment everything "is being seriously examined that is legally possible."

According to the investigators, Stephan Ernst had not been on their radar since 2009. He had – after years of right-wing extremist crimes – behaved inconspicuously since then. However, the investigators are currently examining whether Ernst still had contacts in the extreme right-wing scene.

Top investigators briefed the Bundestag on the case Wednesday morning, in a special session of the Interior Committee. A special session was also planned in Hesse.

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