On the bank robbery in Eisenach, and a motion by victims’ counsel to hear secret service informers
Today’s trial day focused on the bank robbery in Eisenach on 4 November 2011, after which Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt were found by the police in a residential street in Eisenach. Witnesses heard include employees and customers of the savings bank as well as a passerby.
Their testimony confirmed what was already known so far: two men entered the bank, forced the employees at gunpoint to hand over 70,000 Euros, struck down one employee, and fled on bikes. A passerby saw them arrive at a mobile home, put their bikes in the mobile home and drive away at high speed. He quickly told two police officers searching for bicyclists. He stated today that he had looked at press photos and recognized Uwe Mundlos as one of the bicyclists.
At the end of the trial day, victims’ counsel moved that former secret service informer Szczepanski be summoned as a witness. They announced that they will bring similar motions for other informers known to have been close to the NSU.
Szepanski spent many years in the militant Nazi scene and committed a serious of grave politically motivated crimes. He was aware of the discussions within Blood and Honour Saxonia concerning support for Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt after they had gone underground, of how one member was asked to procure weapons for them paid with “Blood and Honour”-money. Szepanski was himself a member of “Blood and Honour” and also participated in discussions concerning armed violence.
The participation of secret service informers in criminal activities led to a complaint by the federal office of criminal investigations in 1997 that, “in order to safeguard its sources”, the federal domestic secret service often told police of planned Nazi activities only at the last minute and thus too late for them to be preventable, that it often informed its informers of planned searches of apartments, allowing them to remove evidence of any wrongdoing, that many informers found to have committed criminal acts could neither be indicted nor convicted, and all this in spite of the fact that the vast majority of informers were “staunch right wing extremists” who believed that “under the protection of the secret service, they could act with impunity in furtherance of their ideology and without having to take the executive organs seriously.”
The federal prosecution has not named many of these informers as witnesses, despite the fact that they could provide valuable information regarding the way the NSU was set up and its cooperation with various networks of militant neo-Nazis. It is trying to uphold its thesis on an isolated group of just three persons. The testimony of various informers provides at least a small chance to gain information on these important issues despite the federal prosecution’s tactics.