16 February 2017

Wohlleben defense tries to force further arguments concerning ideology

The only witness today was a former officer of the Thuringian secret service who was to testify on the ideological character of a meeting in Hetendorf on the property of Neonazi and attorney Jürgen Rieger from Hamburg. According to police reports, Zschäpe had visited that meeting in 1997 – unaccompanied by Mundlos or Böhnhardt. However, the witness stopped working at the secret service long ago and did not remember anything relevant.

The Wohlleben defense again brought several motions for evidence with which they wish to prove that Wohlleben was not “xenophobic” and had had no knowledge of Mundlos’ and Böhnhardt’s racism. Inter alia, defense counsel Nahrath quoted at length from a flyer authored by Wohlleben in which his client propounds “ethnopluralist” ideology. Continue reading

14 and 15 February 2017

Questioning of Prof. Saß still not fully finished

The questioning of expert witness Prof. Saß by Zschäpe’s various defense attorneys took up all day on Tuesday. Counsel Stahl tried and failed to attack the expert’s methodology as non-scientific. Counsel Sturm asked Saß why had failed to ask questions to Zschäpe using the court as an intermediary – a quite presumptuous question given that Zschäpe had refused to talk to Saß in person or to answer any of his questions. Saß accordingly stated that having his questions answered in writing by counsel, as was done with regard to the court’s questions, was without any value for his expert opinion.

Continue reading

14 February 2017

Groundhog Day – continued questioning of Prof. Saß

The questioning of expert witness Prof. Saß by the various defense counsel of Beate Zschäpe continued today. Some of their questions seemed to hurt rather than help their client’s cause.

The questioning will continue tomorrow (but not on Thursday as Saß will be unavailable). We will report on both days in more detail tomorrow.

9 February 2017

The Zschäpe defense finally begins its questioning of the expert witness – and gets nowhere

Today the court rejected the motion for reconsideration brought yesterday by the Zschäpe defense. Defense counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm – after a trial break for internal consultations – moved for a further 2 ½ hour interruption in order to prepare a challenge against the judges for alleged bias. However, such a challenge can only be brought by the accused herself, not by counsel against her – and when asked by the presiding judge whether she had been informed of the planned challenge by her counsel, Zschäpe answered that she had not. Continue reading

8 February 2017

More discussions about the expert’s handwritten notes

Today the court first heard a federal police detective on further investigations concerning a builder who had been fired at in Chemnitz (see the report of 13 December 2016). These investigations did not uncover anything new – then again, it seems that they had not been conducted very intensively either, as shown by the fact that the witness was unable to state the precise location of the construction site.

The court then rejected the motion by the Zschäpe defense concerning expert witness Saß’ handwritten notes (see yesterday’s report). The rest of the trial day mostly consisted of breaks – one so the defense could discuss its reaction to the decision, one so it could draft a motion for reconsideration, and one so that other partys could take cognizance of the motion and comment on it.

The court will decide on the motion for reconsideration tomorrow. The trial tomorrow will begin at 10.30.

7 February 2017

Further questions to Prof. Saß – defense tries, but fails to gain access to his notes

The assigned counsel of accused Zschäpe today tried, but failed to have the handwritten notes of expert witness Prof. Saß introduced into the trial. The trial day began with some questions to the expert by the presiding judge. Counsel pronounced themselves surprised that Saß had not simply brought with him his notes – some 700 pages. Two weeks ago, after Saß had stated that he did not have his notes with him and the defense had answered that in that case they did not have any questions at the moment, the presiding judge had asked Saß some questions of his own and then asked him to come back to Munich this week – Heer, Stahl and Sturm had apparently believed that this included a statement that Saß was to bring his notes. Saß, however, had left them at home and stated that he had included all relevant observations of Zschäpe’s behavior in the courtroom in his expert opinion – indeed, he had made reported on these observations in some detail last time as well as today. Continue reading

31 January 2017

The court enters further documents into evidence, and it continues its strategy of denying all further elucidation of facts surrounding the NSU.

Today the court read out several documents contained in the case file. These included a short memo authored by a policeman who, in the summer of 1997, had seen Beate Zschäpe on the way to a meeting at the compound of Neo-Nazi and attorney Jürgen Rieger in Hetendorf.

Another document read out was a list, compiled after victims counsels’ motions on the possible scouting out of the synagogue in Berlin by members of the NSU (see the report of 26 October 2016), of Jewish institutions contained in the collection of addresses compiled by the NSU. This list contains more than 200 addresses of Jewish institutions. Given the well-known anti-Semitism of the NSU’s members, this is another document which tends to show that the NSU had made at least general plans to commit attacks against Jewish institutions, even if, according to what is known, such plans were not in fact carried out. Continue reading

26 January 2017

Further questioning of expert witness Prof. Dr. Saß

Today the court first heard another police officer from Jena. This witness seemed a bit more awake than his colleagues who had testified earlier this week, but had only been with the political division of the criminal police for a short time and was thus unable to say much about Wohlleben’s ideology and activities. Interestingly, he reported that Wohlleben had been “a matter for the boss” and that investigations concerning Wohlleben had only been conducted by the head of the division.

The court then continued the questioning of expert witness Prof. Dr. Saß. As the Zschäpe defense did not have further questions at the moment, the presiding judge asked further questions. Continue reading

25.01.2017 Press release

Wohlleben defense once more conducts Nazi propaganda in the NSU trial in Munich – racist motion by counsel Klemke concerning a „danger of the death of the Volk“

Olaf Klemke, defense counsel of accused Ralf Wohlleben in the NSU trial in Munich, today brought a motion which aims to “prove” the neo-Nazi claim of a danger of the “death of the Volk”. The motion, co-signed by co-counsel Nicole Schneiders and Wolfram Nahrath, claims that anybody could “speak of the ‘danger of the death of the Volk’” since inter alia the “mass immigration of non-Germans” leads to “the German Volk in its current identity becoming a minority vis-à-vis non-Germans” – the motion continues: “if these developments continue and are not stopped.” Continue reading

25 January 2017

The political criminal police in Jena: “he is here to makes sure nothing happens to us.” And: racist motion by the Wohlleben defense

The trial day began with the testimony of another police officer from Jena, asked to testify on accused Wohlleben’s ideology as well as activities by Wohlleben and the Nazi-“comradeship Jena” concerning “foreigners”. Again, the officer was unable to report anything important – very few questions by victims’ counsel were enough to show why he and his colleagues in Jena only had knowledge “assaults left wing – right ring and propaganda offences”: Asked whether he had any knowledge of bands at the concerts organized by Wohlleben performing songs with racist lyrics, the witness answered that he had not. Further asked whether the lyrics had been checked for illegal content, he replied that this had “not been usual back then”. Continue reading