Update – Next Tuesday canceled, Bauer and Saß to be heard in court
The trial date next Tuesday, 4 April. has been canceled to give the
court time to deal with the challenges for alleged bias brought on 30
March. The trial will continue on Wednesday, 5 April.
On 6 April, the court will hear psychiatrist Prof. Bauer – not as an
expert witness, but rather as a witness on what Zschäpe had told him in
their conversations (see the report of 30 March 2017). The court
will also hear expert witness Prof. Saß on what this means for his
The court has also summoned Saß for the trial dates on 26 and 27 April –
i.e. those dates for which Zschäpe defense counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm
are planning to present their own “counter expert witness”.
One marches over the cuckoo’s nest – psycho motion by the Zschäpe defense.
The high point – rather: the low point – of this trial day was marked by a motion of Zschäpe defense counsel Grasel, who moved that psychiatrist Prof. Bauer, who had visited Zschäpe on four days in detention, be heard as an expert witness to prove that due to a “severe dependent personality disorder”, Zschäpe suffered from diminished responsibility at all relevant times. Grasel added that Bauer was able to appear in court next Thursday.
This motion is the logical end point of Borchert’s and Grasel’s trial strategy, which tries to present Zschäpe as unknowing, passive – and now also: dependent – appendage to Böhnhardt and Mundlos. Continue reading
The next round in the game of “challenge the judge”
The challenges for alleged bias brought on 8 and 9 March and in the following two weeks were all unsuccessful. The court noted that the challenges brought by the Zschäpe defense in the last two weeks had been withdrawn – based on an exchange of letters which shows that the short moment on cooperation within the Zschäpe defense is already over again. Zschäpe marked the beginning by writing to the presiding judge that she had not at all been asked before her counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm brought the additional challenges in her name and that she did not wish to pursue these challenges. Heer, Stahl and Sturm answered with a long letter detailing how counsel Borchert and Grasel had told them several times that Zschäpe had agreed to these challenges. Borchert and Grasel rejected these statements and accused Heer, Stahl and Sturm of having violated attorney-client privilege. Continue reading
The court apparently needs more time to deal with all challenges
for alleged bias. The trial date on Tuesday has therefore been canceled
as well, the trial will continue on Wednesday, 29 March 2017.
Trial cancelled this week also
On Sunday, the Zschäpe defense has brought two additional challenges for alleged bias – one directed against one of the judges as he had prepared the decision of the presiding judge setting time limits (see the report of 7 March 2017), one against the presiding judge based on his written statement in the proceedings concerning the earlier challenge against him. In order to be able to deal with these challenges, the court has cancelled the trial date set for this Thursday, the trial will continue on Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Challenge for alleged bias by the Zschäpe defense, and: court cancels trial days, trial to continue on 23 March 2017
After the Wohlleben defense had challenged all judges for alleged bias yesterday, Zschäpe’s defense counsel Heer today read out his client’s challenge against the presiding judge. This challenge too is based largely on the deadline for further motions, seen against the background of the not very speedy way the trial was conducted in recent months.
The rest of the trial day consisted mostly of one break after another – 30 minutes for “internal consultations” of the defense teams, 25 minutes for the court to draft a decision denying a 20 minute break, and so on.
What remains: to gain time for all challenges to be considered, the court canceled the trial days on 14 to 16 March and 21/22 March 2017, the trial will continue on 23 March 2017. Continue reading
Challenges for alleged bias: Wohlleben today, Zschäpe tomorrow.
Today accused Wohlleben challenged all judges for alleged bias based on their decisions rejecting two defense motions for evidence, as well as the presiding judge alone based on the time limit fixed yesterday.
Zschäpe defense counsel announced – apparently after having actually communicated with his client first – that Zschäpe will also challenge the judges, but that the defense needed more time to prepare the challenge. The trial will therefore continue tomorrow at 11 am.
Whether these challenges will need to some or all trial days of next being canceled remains to be seen. The presiding judge has already announced that the time limit set tomorrow will be extended, without giving more details.
The court ups the pressure to finish the trial. And: motion for evidence on the “attack after the attack” in the Keupstraße in Cologne.
Today the court first introduced into evidence some documents: on the one hand, based on a motion by the Wohlleben defense, it read out a Nazi party press release penned by Wohlleben containing ethnopluralist rhetoric. On the other hand, and more relevant for the judgment, the court considered a list of “clips” to be extracted from the “Pink Panther” TV series and thorough instructions for doing so. Everything points to these “clips” being the one Zschäpe offered to cut in a bet and therefore to Zschäpe being involved in the production of the video with which the NSU claimed responsibility for its crimes.