02:12 GMT +320 November 2019
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    Judges of the second senate at the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in Karlsruhe, southern Germany open a hearing on a possible ban of the far-right NPD party on March 1, 2016.

    'Fake News' Blunder as German Court 'Bans' Neo-Nazi Group NPD

    © AFP 2019 / Marijan Murat
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    A German magazine noted for its highbrow tone and accuracy was forced to apologize after misreporting a court ruling on the far-right neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) with some taking to social media suggesting Kremlin involvement.

    Germany's Supreme Court has — for the second time — ruled that the NPD cannot be banned, despite attempts by the federal government to have it proscribed for its ultranationalist views, promoting racism and anti-Semitism

    National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD)
    © Flickr / Tetedelacourse
    National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD)

    However, the Federal Court ruled that — under the German constitution — the party was too small to form a recognizable political party that would constitute a threat to the German parliament. A ban can be imposed when German democratic order is under threat and a threshold of 5 percent is set as the threshold for a party to enter parliament.

    "There are currently no concrete indications… that its actions will lead to success," the court ruled.

    However, the story was bungled by magazine Der Spiegel which reported online that the NPD had been banned, having to make a quick apology when it realized its error.

    ​"Today we reported falsely that the Federal Constitutional Court had banned the NPD. We can now explain how the error occurred. When the chairman of the Second Senate, Andreas Vosskuhle, began to speak, he quoted first the application for the NPD ban. The application was mistakenly confused with the — indeed different — verdict," the apology read.

    The gaffe — with the headline "Federal Court Bans NPD" and picked up by other news outlets including Die Zeit newspaper- caused amusement on social media, with some joking the mistake may have had something to do with the Kremlin.

    (Twitter: "Spiegel and Zeit controlled by Putin. NPD ban #fakenews directly from the Kremlin")

    The NPD was banned from holding a demonstration in Cologne on New Year's Eve marking a year since a series of sexual assaults involving on women during the 2015/6 celebrations.

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    right-wing extremism, nazi ideology, Nazi, anti-Semitism, migrants, National Democratic Party of Germany (NDP), Der Spiegel, Angela Merkel, Germany, Europe
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