Trial days on Wednesday, 20 September and Thursday, 21 September canceled

The Court has notified the parties that the trial days on 20 and 21 September 2017 have been canceled in order to be able to deal with additional challenges for alleged bias.

The trial will continue on Tuesday, 26 September 2017. It remains to be seen whether victims and their counsel will be able to begin their closing statements then

14 September 2017

Eminger defense brings challenge for alleged bias – trial to continue Wednesday, 29 September.

As could be expected, the Eminger defense today brought a challenge for alleged bias against all five judges. It did so before the start of the trial day, which therefore did not even begin.

The trial can only continue after a decision on this challenge has been reached. The court is currently planning to continue the trial next Wednesday – however, further delays may arise, e.g. if the Wohlleben defense brings its own challenge in the next few days. It is therefore not unlikely that the closing statements of victims and their counsel will be postponed to the week of 25 September.

On this first trial day after accused Eminger was detained, several family members visited the trial –his wife Susnan (who is herself accused of supporting the NSU) and two family members were among the members of the public watching the trial from the public gallery.


13 September 2017

Detention order against Eminger leads to previously unseen bursts of activity from his counsel.

As expected, the court issued a detention order against Eminger as requested. Eminger will thus remain in Stadelheim prison.

The court thus held that Eminger is “strongly suspected” of all crimes he is charged with and that the expected sentence leads to a danger of absconding. In other words: the court will in all likelihood find Eminger guilty of all charges, including of aiding and abetting attempted murder for his involvement in the Probsteigasse bombing attack, and it will sentence him to a prison term that is at least in the vicinity of the twelve years requested by the prosecution.

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12 September 2017

Final day of the prosecution’s closing statement: lengthy prison sentence for Eminger. And: betrayal pays off.

This morning, the presiding judge gave notice to accused Eminger that the two counts of aiding and abetting robbery contained in the indictment could also be considered as aiding and abetting armed robbery in the judgment.

Prosecutor Dr. Diemer than concluded the closing statement with the concrete motions for sentences. The details will be available in the minutes which we will publish (in the German language) in a few days. Here, we will limit ourselves to the sentences the prosecution is asking for:

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1 September 2017

Prosecution’s closing statement almost concluded.

Today the federal prosecution concluded the main part of its closing statement – the only part remaining concerns the formal motions as well as the statements on the sentences, which prosecutor Dr. Diemer will bring on the next trial on 12 September.

Today his colleagues Greger and Weingarten summarized which crimes the accused are to be convicted of. The prosecution asked that they be convicted according to the indictment, with two slight changes in the legal characterization of the charges: as to Zschäpe, this mainy concerned the arson of the house containing the NSU apartment in the Frühlingsstraße, which according to the prosecution also fulfills the requirements for the crime of “inducing an explosion”. As to accused Eminger, the provision of two motor vehicles used in bank robberies constitutes not only aiding and abetting robbery, but aiding and abetting armed robbery, which carries a much higher sentence. The court will have to decide whether it will make a formal announcement to the accused that the charges could be thus re-characterized.  Continue reading

31 August 2017

Activists protest in the courtroom. And: closing argument concerning Eminger and Gerlach: the federal prosecution discovers the importance of ideology

The trial day began with a protest in the courtroom: before prosecutor Weingarten could continue the prosecution’s closing statement, activists of the tribunal “dissolving the NSU complex” began reading out parts of the tribunal’s own indictment concerning the federal prosecution and throwing down tiny leaflets with the names of those indicted before the tribunal. The presiding judge interrupted the trial session and the court left the courtroom, there were no sanctions against the activists, who continued their protest in front of the court building for the rest of the day.

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1 August 2017

Concluding statement of the federal prosecution, day 5: more on the Ceska and on Wohlleben and Schultze

Prosecutor Weingarten concluded his statement on accused Wohlleben and Schultze today. He showed that Wohlleben was the one responsible for coordinating the activities of all supporters, not only in general, but also with regard to the Ceska pistol, and that Schultze, as he himself had admitted, was also directly involved in the procurement of the pistol.

Weingarten then turned to the mens rea, i.e. to proving that Wohlleben and Schultze realized that there was at least a distinct possibility that Böhnhardt, Mundlos and Zschäpe would commit murders with the pistol. With respect to Wohlleben, this is proved by the fact that he knew of the National Socialist ideology and propensity for violence of the NSU core trio, inter alia from debates in their group “Comradeship Jena” concerning “armed struggle”, as well as by the fact that he himself – contrary to his attempts to present himself as an “ethnopluralist” pacifist – had shared that National Socialist ideology. Continue reading

31 July 2017

Concluding statements of the federal prosecution, day 4: on Wohlleben and Schultze and on the Ceska murder weapon

The prosecution had originally announced that prosecutor Greger was to hold her statement on the fifteen brutal robberies committed by the NSU today. However, this was postponed, instead her colleague Weingarten began his concluding statement on accused Wohlleben, Schultze, Gerlach and Eminger. He announced that he would be able to deal only with Wohlleben and Schultze and the procurement of the Ceska murder weapon this weeks and would deal with Gerlach and Eminger after the summer break. All accused, regardless of how active or inactive their defense counsel had been in the trial and of how much interest the press showed in them, would receive the same amount of attention from the prosecution – a clear signal towards accused Gerlach and Eminger.  Continue reading

27. July 2017

Prosecution closing statement, day 3 – central attack on the interests of the victims and their representatives in the trial.

On the third day of the prosecution’s closing statement, prosecutor Greger continued to explain why accused Zschäpe is to be punished as a co-perpetrator of the NSU’s crimes, but only partially fulfilled the standards she had set for herself. As to the political background of the crimes, she referred to short statements in the “NSU letter” as well as several precursors to the video in which the NSU claimed responsibility for its crimes. One such statement was that “we, the NSU, will not gain attention with many words, but with deeds. As long as there are no far-ranging changes in the press, political institutions and with respect to freedom of speech, we will continue with our actions.” However, as the prosecution is proceeding from the assumption that the NSU as an isolated was not influenced by others at all, it could not convincingly portray the group’s ideology, its origins and its developments. Continue reading

26 July 2017

Prosecution closing statement, day 2 – continued attempts to reframe the NSU.

And: transcripts of the closing statement will continue.

Prosecutor Greger continued her closing statement today. Today she mostly focuses on proving, based on many small details, that Beate Zschäpe had played such a central role in the trio with Böhnhardt and Mundlos that she can be convicted as co-perpetrator of all NSU crimes, which would have been impossible without her involvement. In great detail, Greger presented Zschäpe’s involvement in renting apartments, upholding the ordinary façade vis-à-vis neighbors, providing mobile phones and SIM cards, renting cars and interacting with supporters.

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