Wohlleben defense: Nazi propaganda in the courtroom
The evidence considered today was again rather slight, nonetheless the trial day lasted until after 4 pm.
An expert witness with the Bavarian criminal police needed less than fifteen minutes to explain convincingly that Marcel Degner’s signature on the undertaking to work as an informer for the Thuringia secret service was “highly likely” put there by Degner himself, that there were absolutely no indications of a forgery. Why the court had even called the expert will remain its secret – after all, Degner had not really said much of relevance in his testimony, accordingly today’s expert opinion seems relevant only for the perjury proceedings instituted against Degner (on Degner’s steadfast denials of having worked for the secret service, see the report of 14 September 2016). Continue reading
Once more on the attack in 1998 – and on the amateurish investigations of the federal criminal police
The trial day today was quite short – the court closed the trial at shortly after 11 am.
The only witness today was the former disctrict mayor of Jena-Winzerla who was questioned about the buildings present at the site where an attack by several Neonazis on two young men had taken place in 1998 – accused Carsten Schultze had made a statement on that attack (see the report of 21 July 2016). The witness was unable to corroborate one detail of Schultze’s statement, concerning a small wooden hut into which, according to Schultze, one of the victims had been pushed. Other than that, his testimony did not lead to anything new.
„This decision reads like part of a final judgment“
Today the court again did not question any witnesses – the only witness who had been meant to testify today was unable to appear today and will now testify next week.
Victim counsel Yavuz Narin brought a motion that a Berlin police officer be heard as witness. The witness, who was part of the security detail guarding the synagogue in the Rykestraße in Berlin, had stated that he had seen Zschäpe, Mundlos and other persons scouting out the synagogue in May 2000. This would prove Zschäpe’s involvement in scouting out potential targets of NSU attacks already at an early stage, before the beginning of the series of murders – contrary to her statement, according to which she had only learned about the murders after the fact. Continue reading
Trial day on 5 October canceled
The trial day on Wednesday, 5 October 2016, has been canceled. The court
will only hold trial on Thursday this week. However, no witnesses have
Zschäpe speaks – but does not have anything interesting to say. And: the court continues to refuse clearing up the facts.
Today the court heard the answers by the Zschäpe defense to the court’s most recent questions. Again not a job well-done by defense counsel Grasel and Borchert: their answers again added events which Zschäpe had not even mentioned in passing before even though they seem rather hard to forget (in this case a fight between Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, which Zschäpe “would rather not describe in detail”), and they again tried to explain away obvious inconsistencies by claiming that they had simply reported Zschäpe’s “suppositions” (in this case Zschäpe’s claiming earlier that Mundlos had made photos of the murders, while at the same time claiming that she had not known anything about the murders).
On Zschäpe’s claimed blood alcohol level on 4 November 2011. And: the trial will wrap up soon.
Today a medical expert gave his expert opinion on the blood alcohol level of accused Zschäpe on 4 November 2011, the day she set fire to the house in the Frühlingsstraße. The expert based his opinion on the amounts of alcohol that Zschäpe had claimed to have consumed – a statement that is far from believable and was obviously made in the hopes of a finding of diminished responsibility. Basing his calculations on these claims, the expert witness arrived at potentially very high levels of intoxication. On the other hand, Zschäpe had also stated that she did not feel any disturbed functions on that day, a statement confirmed by reports of neighbors who had seen her on that day. Accordingly, the expert witness came to a clear conclusion: “medically speaking, there were no relevant limitations of the physical or mental ability to function.” It is likely that, in her attempt to on the one hand claim to have done everything to preclude a danger to others from the fire, on the other hand invent an alcohol level which might diminish her responsibility, Zschäpe tripped herself up. Continue reading
Many topics discussed, nothing of much relevance.
Today the court first heard a police officer who had conducted investigations concerning the mobile phone of André Eminger, which had been logged into cell towers close to the Frühlingsstraße apartment in the morning of 4 November 2011. However, his investigations did not disclose more than that fact, neither was he able to explain why it had only been reported into the case file now.
Zschäpes “old” counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm read out a long statement on the letter sent by Zschäpe to a Neonazi from Dortmund (see the report of 14 September 2016), arguing that it may not be considered as evidence as it had become part of the case file illegally. This statement was joined not only by Wohlleben defense attorney Klemke, but also by Zschäpe’s further counsel Grasel, showing once more that the disputes within the Zschäpe defense are mostly over. It remains to be seen how the court will decide. Continue reading
Another witness with memory problems, more on the sensory problems of secret service officer Temme, and more questions for Zschäpe by the court.
Today the court first heard another witness concerning an attack on two victims committed by several Neonazis in Jena in the late 1990s – this attack had been reported on by accused Schultze (see the reports of 21 July 2016 and 1 September 2016). This witness, like those before him, did not remember the incident, but also did not exclude that it had taken place – there had simply been too many such attacks involving him, and he had also drunk a lot of alcohol back then. Thus Schultze’s statement has again been neither bolstered nor disproven, the attempt by the Wohlleben defense to present Schultze as unreliable has once again failed.
Zschäpe refuses to answer questions of victims counsel, and: a motion concerning a letter written by Zschäpe leads to hectic activities by the defense.
Today the court first finished the questioning of former Blood and Honour Thuringia head and secret service informer Marcel Degner (see, inter alia, the report of 20 July 2016). Again questions concerned whether he had been an informer, which he vehemently denied even in the face of a definite identification by his former contact officers. Degner today appeared with a new witness counsel, but remained true to his strategy of simply denying this fact. Victims counsel accordingly decided not to ask their prepared questions concerning his activities and reports as an informer. Degner could leave the courtroom rather early in the day and return home – there to prepare for the inevitable perjury trial, which had been put on ice for the duration of his testimony in Munich. Continue reading
Another witness with a faulty memory, and: Zschäpe defense announces statement on victim counsel questions
Today the court first continued questioning the witness who, as publisher of a Nazi fanzine, had received a letter containing several hundred Euros from the NSU in the early 2000s (on his earlier testimony see the report of 26 July 2016). His further questioning did not lead to much new information, the witness still pretended not to remember anything, above all the ideological contents of his publication which had led to the NSU giving him the money.
Victims counsel Eberhard Reinicke brought a motion for evidence concerning the gas canister which Zschäpe had used to set fire to the house in the Frühlingsstraße. The motion aims to show once more that Zschäpe’s statements in court are untrue, this time as concerns her claim that the gas had been in the house for unrelated purposes, namely as fuel for a boat motor. To the contrary, the fact that the filler neck of the canister had been found unter Zschäpe’s bed tends to show that she had stored the gas earlier with the potential for arson in mind. Continue reading