27 February 2014

Lies and Trivialization, Part 4.5: Mandy Struck continues to evade – and receives some pressure from the court.

Witness Mandy Struck continued to testify today, first answering the presiding judge’s questions on her vita, the Nazi scene in Chemnitz and other issues. It was again apparent that she tried to play down her own role in the scene, claiming that she had no idea of the identity or background of her “guests”, that she had never seen them again and that she had not even identified them as Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt after the NSU had been uncovered in 2011/2012.

Struck had been questioned, first by police detectives and later by a judge, in 2003 after investigations uncovered clues that she was in contact with “the Three”. Today, she claimed that back then, she had had no knowledge at all who was the subject of the investigation. Presiding judge Götzl warned her several times that her testimony was far from believable – after all, the minutes from 2003 contain both names and photos of all three persons being investigated and also refer to issues Struck had been involved in, such as the provision of fake identity papers. Struck nonetheless remained steadfast in her denials.

From the point of view of victims’ counsel, it is to be welcomed that the presiding judge does not accept memory gaps claimed by witnesses from the Nazi scene, instead asking critical questions. It is interesting that it is Mandy Struck, who has the right to refuse any testimony and who was accompanied by her lawyer, who is apparently talking her way into a perjury investigation.

After intense questioning by the presiding judge, victims’ counsel started their questions in the afternoon. However, they did not get to ask very many questions, on the one hand because Struck kept blocking everything, on the other hand because the prosecution and the Zschäpe defence kept interrupting and claiming that questions concerning, e.g., Struck’s position in the Nazi scene had no bearing on the case. This is transparently untrue, but these interruptions nonetheless lead to the testimony of Struck being stopped for the day at around 4.30 in the afternoon. Struck will have to continue her testimony on a later date.