Waiting for Zschäpe’s explanation
After the trial was cut short yesterday, speculation has been rife, newspapers that used to praise Zschäpe’s defense attorney to the skies are now tearing them down.
Fact is that there are lots of possible reasons why a defense lawyer would advise Zschäpe to use her right to remain silent, as hers have done. Fact is also that at this point in time, more than a year after the beginning of the trial and after the court ordered the continued detention of Ralf Wohlleben, Zschäpe’s disposition may well have reached a low point: it becomes clearer and clearer that the likely result of the trial is a conviction on all charges; Zschäpe must realize that she will spend a very long time behind bars.
Against this background, it is likely that the double betrayal of her former “comrade” Brandt once more showed her quite plainly how hopeless her situation is. After all, it was Brandt who built up the THS and thus also the “Comradeship Jena”, it was Brandt who radicalized the scene, who developed militant and violent strategies against political enemies and clandestine modes of behavior, who militated in favor of armed struggle – all working for and being paid for by the domestic secret service. Brandt – who was more than a friend, but rather a “comrade” of Zschäpe and her co-perpetrators – now answers the court’s questions and describes himself as a “National Socialist” who always kept within the law, who would have liked to win elections for the Nazi party NPD. It was certainly Zschäpe’s expectation that her defense attorneys would attack this witness, would expose him and the secret service. That they did not do so may be for good reasons – maybe Brandt knows more about Zschäpe than he has told the court so far. Or it may simply be due to inaptitude or a lack of understanding what Zschäpe wants and needs from them.
Zschäpe’s wish to be provided totally different defense attorney will not be fulfilled. Maybe one of her lawyers will voluntarily give u his spot to make room for a new attorney who will join the defense quite unprepared. Another option would be for the court to simply appoint an additional lawyer. In any event, it is far from clear whether this would lead to big changes in the trial or to Zschäpe deciding to testify.
The court has given Zschäpe until late on Friday to motivate her motion to dismiss her current attorneys. It is extremely unlikely that the court will accept a serious delay in the trial. The trial day next Tuesday stands.
Further speculation is uncalled for at this moment.