No trial days this week
Today, the court had planned to decide the procedural question whether the question of forfeiture of moneys likely arising from the robberies will be decided in the judgment or via a separate procedure.
However, even this very minor question could not be decided today – instead parties were told that all trial days this week are cancelled due to illness of Zschäpe’s defense counsel Grasel.
The trial will continue on 27 February 2018.
Moving closing statements and somewhat arduous attempts to plan the defense statements
It would have been nice if the last trial day before the Winter break had consisted only of the closing statements of counsel Serkan Alkan, of Yvonne Boulgarides and of counsel Yavuz Narin. After all, these statements were an impressive and often moving end to this part of the trial, in which the victims of the NSU were able to raise their voices either in person or via their counsel.
However, the end of the trial day was taken up by planning the defense closing statements, a process which proved somewhat arduous. To quickly recap the results: the court will decide on formal questions concerning the forfeiture of moneys gained by the robberies on 20 February 2018. After that there will be a long break, the statement of Zschäpe defense counsel Grasel and Borchert will begin on 13 March and will again be followed by a break of probably one week. Continue reading
Final statements of victims and their counsel likely to be held tomorrow.
As expected, the challenge for alleged bias brought by the Wohlleben defense last week was rejected as unfounded, so the trial could continue today. The court issued its decision rejecting the objections of 20 December 2017 with which the defense had tried to get the presiding judge to influence the content of victims’ counsel’s closing statements. The defense asked for and was granted an hour-long break to discuss the decision, after which it decided not to challenge it. Accordingly, the closing statements of victims and their counsel could continue.
NSU trial to continue Wednesday, 7 February 2018, at 12 noon.
As was to be expected, the court needs additional time to deal with the challenge for alleged bias brought by the defense. The trial day tomorrow, 6 February, has been canceled, the trial session on Wednesday has been pushed back to 12 noon.
Motion for reconsideration rejected, defense challenge for alleged bias.
This morning, Zschäpe defense counsel Heer announced that he and his colleague Lickleder (the substitute for counsel Sturm) joined both the Wohlleben defense motion for evidence of last week and the motion for reconsideration brought yesterday. Their colleague Stahl did not join the motion.
The court rejected the motion for reconsideration, thus the status quo remains that the witnesses named by the defense will not be called. The Wohlleben defense reacted by – once more – challenging the judges for alleged bias.
This challenge, too, is sure to be rejected. It remains to be seen whether the court will cancel one or more trial days next week – today, the presiding judge adjourned the trial until next Tuesday.
Defense motion for reconsideration – the court will issue its decision
There was another very short trial session today: the Wohlleben defense took about five minutes to read out its short and unconvincing motion for reconsideration of yesterday’s court decision rejecting its motion for evidence, the prosecution needed a bit over an hour to prepare and read out its comments on that motion.
The presiding judge closed the trial session around 11:10 AM. The trial will continue tomorrow at 11:00 AM, likely with the court’s decision on the motion for reconsideration.
Court rejects the motion for evidence brought by the Wohlleben defense.
The court session today was again rather short. As expected, the court rejected the motion for evidence brought last week by the Wohlleben defense.
The defense was granted an hour for internal deliberations, after which they announced that they will bring a motion for reconsideration tomorrow. The presiding judge closed the trial session at around 11:30 AM.
Further delays due to the motion for evidence. No trial tomorrow.
Today the Wohlleben defense replied to the comments on their motion for evidence of [link] yesterday. It is not clear why the defense had needed additional time to prepare that reply, as it consisted largely of banalities, baseless speculations and the claim that the evidence taken in court had been insufficient to prove that Wohlleben and Schultze had procured the murder weapon – a claim which both the court in Munich and the Federal Court of Justice have roundly rejected in several decisions on Wohlleben’s continued detention.
The court did not decide on the motion today and will not do so tomorrow, either. Instead it has canceled the trial day tomorrow, the trial will continue next Tuesday, 30 January. If – as is to be expected – the court rejects the motion, it seems quite likely that the defense will react with another challenge for alleged bias, leading to another wasted trial week. Continue reading
Motion for evidence by the Wohlleben defense – desperate attempts to present alternative perpetrators
Today the Wohlleben defense, as announced last trial week, brought its motion for evidence, asking that Jug Puskaric and Sven Rosemann, both active in the neo-Nazi scene as well as the red-light milieu, be heard as witnesses and claiming that they would confirm that they, not Wohlleben and Schultze, had procured the Ceska murder weapon. Of course, it is hard to believe that the two named as witnesses will actually confirm this – and indeed there is nothing which points towards the veracity of the defense claims.
Accordingly, the federal prosecution moved that the defense motion be denied – its motion, however, was as verbose as it was devoid of actual subject-matter arguments, mostly focusing instead on formal arguments. Continue reading
No trial this week
The trial days this week have been canceled as one of the judges has fallen ill. The trial will continue on Tuesday, 23 January 2018.