3/4 December 2013

The domestic secret service remembers nothing

All trials days of this week concern the murder of Halit Yozgat in Kassel, in particular what former domestic secret service agent Andreas Temme, who was present at the crime scene, had seen. Both in the criminal investigation against him as well as in the current trial, Temme claims not to remember much of anything. His testimony was far from convincing. On Tuesday he continued with his confused stories. His questioning, which is far from being finished, so far did not advance the trial at all.

Before his testimony, the court had again decided that the case files against Temme would not become part of the court’s case file – victims’ counsel had asked the court to reconsider its earlier decision to that effect. The court remains steadfast in its opinion that all material contained in those case files is without relevance to the present proceedings – probably because it is not strictly necessary for convicting the present accused.

That this decision does not make much sense and that it leads to a cumbersome procedure became clear during the testimony of Temme’s former informer. Counsel for the Yozgat family had used quotes from the case files against Temme, which they had received a while ago from the federal prosecution, to refresh the memory of the witness. The presiding judge demanded that they provide printouts of these pages to the court – an absurd situation given that the court had just previously declined to take these pages into account. Counsel for the Yozgat family offered to provide the court with copies of all those parts of the case file which they had received, but the presiding judge instead ordered that each document from the case file so used would have to be printed out and provided to the court.

Both witnesses are supposed to testify further on Thursday. If the presiding judge continues to rely on the current cumbersome procedure, this testimony will take quite a while. It seems that presiding judge Götzl has problems getting unwilling witnesses to talk, which leads to a quite severe lengthening of the trial.