BBC, Mar. 18, 2003
“The proceedings have been dismissed,” said presiding judge Winfried Hassemer.
The court’s ruling comes more than a year after it emerged that the government had informants in the party, raising questions about whether any could have acted as provocateurs.
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s government has made a major effort to outlaw the party since a wave of hate crimes in 2000.
Both houses of parliament also petitioned the court in 2001 to ban the fringe party, calling it a threat to German democracy.
But the party maintains it is the victim of a government smear campaign.
It alleges that the informants made inflammatory speeches and recruited violent neo-Nazis to help the government case.
The government denies planting provocateurs.
Three of the seven judges decided that the informers’ presence made it impossible to proceed with the ban.