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15 January 2018

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.

11 January 2018

No closing statements today.

No closing statements could be held today as the court once more had to deal with Ralf Wohlleben’s back pains. Wohlleben had been examined in the prison yesterday, today a medical expert was present (once again) to report on his state of health.

Wohlleben’s defense moved that this report be heard in closed session. That motion in itself would not be much to report on – after all, the details of Wohlleben’s back problems are indeed not of particular interest to the broader public. However, under the applicable legal provisions, it the court were to exclude the public for the duration of expert’s report, it would automatically have to do so as well for the (rest of the) closing statements. This rule has been laid down to protect victims of severe crimes from having details of their state of health broadcast to the public in closing statements – nonetheless, from its wording, it would also apply to the case at hand. Continue reading

10 January 2018

Convincing and moving statements by Seda Basay and Abdulkerim Şimşek

The trial day began later and ended already around noon as accused Wohlleben once more complained of back pains and was examined by a doctor in the morning.

Counsel Basay first concluded the closing statement which she had begun yesterday. After a short section on the totally unbelievable statement of Beate Zschäpe, Basay dealt in detal with the question of local NSU supporters in Nuremberg.

The four crime scenes in Nuremberg – those of the murders of Enver Şimşek, Abdurrahim Özüdoğru and Ismail Yaşar and of the bombing attack on the pub “Sonnenschein” (“Sunshine”) – show quite clearly that the prosecution’s thesis that all scenes had been scouted out by Böhnhardt and Mundlos alone is implausible. Continue reading

9 January 2018

Closing statements on the murder of Enver Şimşek begin

The trial day began with the closing statement of counsel Goldbach, who represents victims of the nail bomb attack in the Keupstraße. He began by speaking about his clients, their dashed hopes of fact-finding through the trial. He also stated that his clients, like others, had not allowed the NSU to force them out of Germany, are currently living normal and content lives here.

Goldbach than turned to the accused and showed why he believes that accused Wohlleben and Eminger are guilty of aiding and abetting the Keupstraße attack. Of course, none of this will be provable given the sloppy investigations not only before, but also after 2011.

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21 December 2017

Moving closing statements by victims’ counsel, and one question mark

Today’s closing statement by counsel Prof. Behnke, who represents a brother of Mehmet Turgut, killed by the NSU in Rostock, leaves us at a loss as to how to report on it: how to report on a statement calling for a “return” to the code of criminal procedure – but hardly mentioning any procedural arguments at all? How to answer a counsel who states that institutional racism does not exist in German administrative agencies, that claims to the contrary are the actual problem – and who obviously does not even understand what the term means, who talks about “structural racism” and claims that the term has been invented during the trial  (on which claim see only wikipedia)? Continue reading

20 December 2017

Closing statements on the murders in Rostock and Nuremberg

The first closing statement of the day could only start after an hours’ delay. Before that, the Wohlleben defense objected to the presiding judge’s reaction to earlier statements. They claimed that victims’ counsel Schön and Reinecke had both made statements on the penalties to be assessed to the accused and made motions in that regard, and that this was inadmissible and should have been stopped by the presiding judge. The prosecution asked for a four hour delay in order to comment on that objection in detail, a request which led to an embarrassing outburst from Zschäpe defense counsel Heer, who accused the presiding judge of strikingly partisan behavior favoring the prosecution as the defense was never given that much time – it should be noted that he held forth in this manner before the court had even decided on the requested delay. In fact, the delay did not occur as counsel Langer had announced that he would not make a statement on penalties in his closing statements.  Continue reading

19 December 2017

Closing statement by Eberhard Reinecke: including thoughts on the NSU’s communications strategy

Counsel Eberhard Reinecke continued his closing statement today. He began with a short rebuttal of the statement by counsel Kaplan of last week, detailing why questions of institutional racism etc. do in fact belong in the Munich trial and why those counsel who, when faced with requests by their clients, emphasize their standing as “independent members of the bar” often turn into “inactive members of the bar”.

Reinecke also referred in passing to the sister of Süleyman Taşköprü, who had written to the court in reaction to the bizarre reactionary statement by her counsel Wierig last week and had asked not to be represented by Wierig any longer. She felt that the statement was not in her interest and that she had been deceived by Wierig. Continue reading

14 December 2017

Further statements by victims’ counsel, above all on Zschäpe’s statements in court and on André and Susann Eminger.

Today Eberhard Reinecke, who represents several victims of the Keupstraße bombing attack, continued the closing statement his colleague Schön had begun yesterday. Sadly he was unable to finish his statement today as accused Wohlleben stated that he was suffering from headaches.

Reinecke first turned to the investigations concerning accused NSU supporters and voiced his fears that nothing will follow from these proceedings. Above all, he pointed to the many lying Nazi witnesses and used a few concrete examples to show how easy it would be to prove that they had perjured themselves. Continue reading

13 December 2017

Further closing statements on the Keupstraße and on the murder in Heilbronn

Today the court heard further closing statements by victims’ counsel on the murder of Michèle Kiesewetter and the attempted murder of her colleague Martin A. in Heilbronn.

Prior to those statement, Alexander Hoffmann concluded his statement begun last week on the ideology of the NSU and its network of supporters.

Hoffman showed that the many different political organizations, from the Jena division of the “Thuringia Homeguard”, whose members wore SA-like uniforms, to the prissy-seaming Nazi Party NPD, whose members were often called “side partings” based on their haircuts, and to Blood and Honours, whose members wore tattoes and considered themselves part of a subculture, were all united by a common ideology:

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12 December 2017

Counsel for the Taşköprü family: two strong statements and a ludicrous defense pleading

The first two closing statements today were held by Andreas Thiel and Gül Pinar on behalf of family members of Süleyman Taşköprü, who had been killed by the NSU in Hamburg in 2001.

Andreas Thiel’s moving statement showed the immeasurable suffering caused to the family by the murder of their brother, son and father – Süleyman Taşköprü’s daughter was two years old at the time of his death. Thiel quoted Taşköprü’s father, who had found his dying son in the shop and blamed himself for having left shortly before to buy some olives: “I put his head on my lap, touched his face. He tried to say something, but he couldn’t. I tried to render first aid, but I couldn’t. […] If I had known that the murderers were there, I would have gone back, no matter what would have happened to me.”

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