19 February 2014

Once more concerning witness Liebau

The first two witnesses today were police officers who had interrogated witness Liebau, the proprietor of a shop frequented by the Nazi scene in Jena where, according to the indictment, Ralf Wohlleben and Carsten Schultze bought the murder weapon for the NSU. In court Liebau had claimed not to remember Wohlleben or Schultze asking him for a gun. Asked about his police interrogation in which guns had come up several times, he had claimed to have meant only gas pistols. He had also claimed that the police officers had severely pressured him (see our reports of 7 November 2013 and 29 January 2014).

The testimony of the two detectives showed this to be untrue. In his testimony to the police, Liebau had at first claimed not to remember anything, but had later “not excluded” the possibility that Wohlleben might have asked him for a gun, adding that members of the Nazi scene had sometimes asked him for guns. He also spoke of a “Serb or Croat” who could provide weapons from the Kosovo war. Liebau’s claims to have spoken only of gas guns is thus exposed as an obvious lie – which is why victims’ counsel had moved that they be laid down in the minutes as evidence for the crime of perjury.

Liebau was the first of the witnesses testifying in court who played the game of not remembering, denying and playing down. It is thus to be welcomed that the court follows this issue further. However, today’s testimony also showed that Liebau’s “memory gaps” had already arisen in his police testimony – showing that the court should have been less forgiving with him in his testimony in court.

Another police officer reported on a search of Zschäpe’s apartment in January of 1998, which netted a number of weapons (a crossbow, a slingshot, knives etc.), a Nazi flag and an early version of the “Pogromly” board game (on which see yesterday’s report). These items again show that Zschäpe was deeply invested in Nazi ideology and violence-prone already in 1998.

The day concluded with statements and motions. Victim’s counsel Dr. Mehmet Daimagüler made a statement concerning the testimony of a neighbor from the Polenzstraße and the “German Normalcy” shown in her statement (see our report of 3 February 2014). Victim’s counsel Peer Stolle moved that several superior officers of the two Heilbronn victims be called to testify in order to clear up whether the attack was directed against the two victims specifically or against the police in general (see our report of 21 January 2014). Finally, victim’s counsel Seda Basay called for the testimony of a detective from the „investigative group personal networks” of the Baden-Württemberg office of criminal investigations. This detective would be called to testify on connections of the NSU to the federal state of Baden-Württemberg – inter alia on the statement of a witness that at the time of the Heilbronn attack, she had seen Zschäpe roughly 35 kilometers from the crime scene.