Daily Archives: 16. October 2013

15 October 2013

„These notes can only have been taken in the course of an observation at the crime scene“

Today’s trial day showed on the one hand how meticulously the NSU killers planned their crimes, on the other hand why the German police was incapable of uncovering the perpetrators.

The first witness was a police officer who had sifted through the wreckage of the burned down house in Zwickau. According to her testimony, Zschäpe had, in 2011, paid for an Eminger family vacation in Paris under her alias Lisa Pohl – either a birthday present for André Eminger or a thank you for renting vehicles which were presumably used for murders and bombing attacks.

Another police officer had evaluated maps and the like found in the wreckage. He had found that the attempt to burn the evidence had almost been successful as all documents had been singed. He had found substantial material in the form of maps, lists of addresses and other notes in particular as concerns Nuremberg, Munich, Kassel and Dortmund. A total of 267 potential targets had been scoped, including rooms associated to political parties (especially the Left Party), institutions of Muslim organizations, and housing and advice centers for refugee.

These notes can only have been taken in the course of an observation at the crime scene, over periods of time between four to eight weeks and 12 months. This again calls into question the assumption in the indictment that Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe acted alone – quite to the contrary, it seems impossible for them to have conducted observations of this scope. The evidence so far rather points to local Nazis having helped plan the murders.

One map of Nuremberg was also found on a hard drive found with accused Eminger.

An expert witness with the Bavarian police confirmed that the prepaid cell phone which was called from a public phone box in Zwickau shortly before the murder of Theodoros Boulgarides was at that time in the direct vicinity of the Munich crime scene – one further piece of evidence for Zschäpe’s direct involvement in the murders.

The various notes on the murders also show that the perpetrators had clear criteria in choosing their victims: the scenes had to be close to major roads, there had to be flight paths for cars and for bicycles, the victims had to be of Turkish origin and middle-aged. These commonalities were not a factor in the police investigation, however, as the police kept on looking for motives relating to the victims’ personal lives or families.

Thus the testimony of police officer Blumenröther again showed the extent to which the investigation was marked by prejudices and incompetence. The witness, now retired, had been lead investigator of the special investigation team “Theo” charged with investigating the murder of Theodoros Boulgarides. He stated that there had not been any clues regarding a racist murder – a slip of the tongue led him to refer to a “foreigner motive” given the series of murders of migrants. The victim’s family had kept floating the idea of a xenophobic motive, but there had, according to Blumenröther, simply not been any clues pointing in that direction.

The witness insisted on this point despite the fact that two men who had been in contact with convicted Nazi terrorist Martin Wiese and with Norman Bordin, another militant neo-Nazi, had been found at the crime scene directly after the murder. After all, the witness related, they had answered questions in a calm and cooperative manner and had admitted to having met Bordin and Wiese about ten times, but “only in private”. “One of them even said that he had a friend who was a Muslim”. This marked the end of the investigation of the Nazi scene. The special investigation team “Bosporus” in Nuremberg had received further information concerning the involvement of the two men in the Nazi scene, but the witness claimed that he had never received that information.

The trial day on Thursday was canceled since the only witness planned to testify on that day will not appear. The witness, a Swiss national suspected of having sold the Ceska pistol used in the murders, is subject of Swiss criminal proceedings for aiding and abetting murder and thus entitled to refuse to testify.

16 October 2013

Where did the Ceska come from?

Today’s trial day was to uncover the provenance of the silenced Ceska pistol used by the NSU. However, the only witness to testify today was a gun shop owner from Switzerland who had sold the gun in 1996. He testified that he had sold one silenced Ceska and one Ceska without silence via mail. The buyer had provided him with an official permit to buy a gun and a copy of his identification. The witness stated that the silenced Ceska was a relatively rare model, but that he had sold a number of such guns.

Two additional witnesses, the original buyer of the NSU Ceska and the person presumed to have sold it on to Germany, did not appear in court. The court will now try to have them testify via video-link. The second of the two men has already announced that he will invoke the privilege against self-incrimination and refuse to testify.

Parties also watched a video from a surveillance camera in the Keupstraße in Cologne, this time with somewhat enhanced picture quality, in order to check whether a woman seen on that video shortly before the bombing attack was Beate Zschäpe. The police officers who had worked on the video stated that the woman was not Zschäpe, and in fact there was no resemblance of Zschäpe to the woman in the video.

Angelika Lex, victim’s counsel for the widow of Theodoros Boulgarides, made a statement commenting on yesterday’s testimony of the police officer who had led the investigations in the Boulgarides murder case. Her statement is documented (in German) here.