The desperation of Ismail Yozgat
Today was a trial day filled with extreme emotions. The father of murder victim Halit Yozgat, Ismail Yozgat, testified on the death of his son. But Ismail Yozgat detailed not only how he found his murdered son under dramatic circumstances, but how his trust in the German justice system has been damaged by the way the system has dealt with, inter alia, Andreas Temme, an officer of the domestic secret service who was present at the crime scene.
Mr. Yozgat’s testimony injected into the court proceedings a hint of the desperation and hopelessness caused by the Nazi murders – this after the court room had become a largely emotion free zone under the matter-of-fact administration of Presiding Judge Götzl.
In the afternoon, the testimony of Andreas Temme, whose tasks at the domestic secret service included being liaison-officer for informants from the Nazi scene. Although this very dubious witness had been present in Halit Yozgat’s internet café at the time of the murder, he had not come forward to the police. The Hessian Ministry of the Interior had interfered with attempts by the police to interrogate him and had for some time even succeeded in preventing such interrogation. A criminal investigation against Temme has been discontinued in the meantime.
The way the justice system has dealt with this witness again led to conflict today: the office of the federal prosecutor has not integrated the case file of the investigation against Temme into the court file of the case against Zschäpe et al. and refuses to do so to this day. One victim’s counsel moved today that the case file be integrated – this is an issue that will likely be the subject of intense litigation in the weeks to come.
As to Temme’s statement in court, it became very apparent that presiding judge Götzl was not convinced by his explanations as to why he had not come forward after hearing of Halit Yozgat’s murder. Götzl made more than clear that he did not believe Temme and finally ended today’s testimony, but not without signalizing that further intensive interrogation of Temme will take place in the future.
Today’s testimony has again shown that the involvement of the secret service in the Halit Yozgat murder case will play an important role in this trial.