16 and 17 September 2014

On the origins of the Ceska murder weapon in Switzerland

Yesterday and today, the court heard two Swiss police officers who had conducted several interviews concerning the Ceska murder weapon between 2007 and 2012. Their testimony revealed that the gun was originally bought by Swiss national Hans-Ulrich Müller, albeit with the aid and in the name of an acquaintance. That acquaintance had first denied any involvement, but had finally stated in 2012 that he had bought the gun for Müller and received 400 Swiss francs for doing so. Müller had told him that he wanted to sell the gun in Germany and that it was better if Müller did not ask any questions.

In his interviews, Müller denied these allegations, but quickly got caught up in contradictions. He was arrested by Swiss authorities in 2012. When charged with aiding and abetting murder, he quickly stated that he had been arrested with a silenced Ceska pistol in Germany in the 1990s. He had in fact been arrested in Germany in 1997 – but the gun in question had been a Luger .22 without a silencer. By immediately referring to the silenced Ceska gun, which was frequently mentioned in the press from November 2011 on, Müller showed that he knew of the connection of the gun he had sold to the NSU murders.

The defense teams of Zschäpe and Wohlleben made much of trying to show supposed contradictions in the statement of the first policeman. They objected to his statement on the first interviews of Müller’s acquaintance being considered in the judgment. This is not quite understandable: for one, it is hard to see any reasons on which such an objection could validly be based. Most importantly, however, even if the court indeed set aside his testimony, this would not help the defense’s case at all – after all, it was only in a later statement that Müller’s acquaintance had admitted to his role in buying the gun.

The testimony of the second officer is not yet finished and will continue tomorrow.