12 May 2016

On gun deals in Jena, and additional platitudes from Beate Zschäpe

Today the court first heard a federal criminal police officer who had questioned a member of the criminal scene in Jena. That person had, when questioned in Munich, relied on the privilege against self-incrimination (see our reports of 16 February 2016, 13 April 2016 and 28 April 2016). The officer reported that when questioned by him, the witness had stated that “Müller from Apolda” was one of the gun providers for his scene in the early 2000s – it is known that Swiss national Hans-Ulrich Müller, who was identified as the buyer of the Ceska murder weapon, lived in Apolda for some time.

The witness had also reported on the cooperation of those in the criminal scene who saw themselves as Nazis with the political Nazi scene. Continue reading

11 May 2016

The court continues to kill time and to refuse to clear up the facts

Today the court first read out several documents

It then considered pictures of a vacation that Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had taken in 2004, shortly after the bombing attack in the Keupstraße in Cologne. These show all three in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere – a marked contrast to Zschäpe’s claims that her relationship to the two men had become particularly strained after they told her about the attack in Cologne.

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10 May 2016

The court is working hard not to clear up the involvement of secret service informers

The trial day began with a court decision rejecting the motion by the Zschäpe defense for a suspension of the trial. The court then heard a federal criminal police detective who once again testified on radio stations’ reports on the death of Böhnhardt and Mundlos after the robbery in Eisenach on 4 November 2011.

The rest of the rather short trial day was dedicated to the court rejecting several motions for evidence brought by victims’ counsel. These motions had concerned the criminal acquaintances of Böhnhardt, Zschäpe and Mundlos as well as the question why those three were never arrested during their stay in Chemnitz, in spite of reports concerning their presence in the city, robberies they had committed and were planning to commit, as well as their supporters.

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28 April 2016

Once more on the witnesses from the criminal scene in Thuringia

The only witness today was a federal criminal police detective who had interviewed the three witnesses from the criminal scene in Thuringia. As all three witnesses have refused to testify in court, the court is now introducing their testimony given to the police. His testimony today did not lead to any relevant new facts, all three witnesses had also refused to answer at least some of the questions of the police, after all.

Zschäpe defense counsel Borchert brought a motion for access to the original case file as well as a suspension of the trial, arguing that he was unable to check whether the electronic copy of the case file he had been given is complete while the trial is ongoing. He will surely be granted access as requested, just as surely as he will not be granted a suspension.

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27 April 2016

Witness testimony concerning the Ceska murder weapon

Today the court heard a member of the federal prosecutor’s office who had been present during the questioning of a Swiss witness, the wife of the first buyer of the Ceska murder weapon, by Swiss authorities. The court is planning to read out the minutes of her testimony lateron.

Like her husband, the witness had refused to appear in Munich. In a letter to the court announcing her refusal, her husband had referred to himself as “the straw buyer from Switzerland”.

Her testimony did not reveal much of relevance; she stated that she did not remember much. Her husband had stated in his testimony that he had bought the Ceska for an acquaintance – who, according to the prosecutor’s investigations, then brought it to Thuringia.

At the end of the trial day, the court read out several documents, such as expert opinions, search warrants and police reports.

21 April 2016

Potential gun merchants to the NSU refuse to testify.

After the sharp debates in court yesterday, the trial today was without significant developments. The two witnesses, twins and alleged former gang leaders in Thuringie, relied on the privilege against self-incrimination and refused to testify.

The court then heard several comments by parties on motions, followed by additional reports of secret service agencies, based on informer statements, on the accused and persons surrounding them.

The Wohlleben defense brought further motions for evidence, claiming that the Swiss gun dealer who had originally sold the Ceska murder weapon was involved in illegal gun deals.
At the end of the trial day, the presiding judge read out a decision denying motions by victims‘ counsel on informer „Corelli“ and the DVD entitled „NSU/NSDAP“. Continue reading

20 April 2016

Federal prosecution reneges on its promise to clear up the facts

This morning the court heard a witness on the robbery of a post office in Chemnitz. This was followed by the federal prosecution’s comments on victims counsel motions for evidence concerning secret service informer “primus”, Ralf Marschner as well as connections between the Nazi scene and the general criminal scene in Thuringia.

Prosecutor Diemer asked that the motions concerning Marschner be denied in their entirety, arguing that the factual claims made, if proven, would have no influence on the court’s judgment. Victims’ counsel pointed out that this was another clear case of the prosecution reneging on its promise to the NSU’s victims to clear up all relevant facts. Continue reading

19 April 2016

Challenge for alleged bias rejected, Secret service reports introduced.

The trial began at 1pm today as the court needed additional time to deal with the challenge for alleged bias brought against the court by the Wohlleben defense last week. Unsurprisingly, that challenge was rejected as unfounded.

The presiding judge then posed further questions to accused Zschäpe, which will be answered by her counsel at some later time.

Topics include her contacts with attorney Eisenecker, brokered by Tino Brandt, Ralf Wohlleben and Carsten Schultze, the uses to which the money made during the robberies was put, a meeting during which Holger Gerlach was given money and in return provided a health insurance card for Zschäpe, a visit by Gerlach to the Zwickau apartment, as well as the question whether Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had access to motorbikes. Continue reading

13 April 2016

„There is nothing left up here but air“ – further testimony of a witness from the criminal scene in Jena does not reveal anything relevant

Today the court continued to question a witness from the criminal scene in Jena who had begun his testimony a few weeks ago (see the report of 16 February 2016). This time he brought his counsel with him, a lawyer currently also defending an accused from the Nazi scene in Thuringia.

As last time, his testimony was a mixture of Gangster war stories and failures to remember. Of the latter, some seemed like attempts to evade the court’s questions, but some seemed quite real – when the witness stated that “there is nothing left up here but air”, it was not hard to believe him.

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12 April 2016

Another week, another challenge for alleged bias brought by the Wohlleben defense

For today, the court had summoned only two witnesses, a police officer and a post office teller, both of whom testified on the robbery of a post office in Zwickau in 2001.

However, their testimony only started around 3.30 pm – the Wohlleben defense took up all the time until then by first asking for a lengthy break for deliberations, then for an even longer break in order to write up a challenge for alleged bias and then by reading out the long and convoluted challenge. Their challenge – this time directed against all judges of the court, is based on the allegedly wrong reasoning for denying their motion for a stay of proceedings brought last week (see the report of 5 April 2016). Like all other such challenges, it is without any merit.
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