14 October 2014

On Zschäpe’s mens rea for murder and on the CD „NSU/NSDAP“

The important events of this trial day concerned statements by parties on the evidence taken so far.

Victims’ counsel made a statement on the testimony of Thomas Rothe which stressed that Rothe not only had to know of the criminal proceedings against “the Three” while they were living with him, but also that he continued to conduct common political activities with them. The relationship of trust was such that he knew their apartment in Zwickau where they lived for a long time while they were carrying out murders. The massive support provided by “Blood & Honour” Chemnitz will be considered tomorrow when Jan Werner, “Section leader” of “B&H Saxony” is summoned testify.

The Zschäpe defense made a statement on the testimony of the old lady whose life had been endangered by the fire in the Frühlingsstraße apartment, and on the testimony of police officers who had questioned her. The old lady’s health had taken a dramatic turn for the worse after the fire, leading to her being incapable of testifying. The defense claims that this was the fault of the court, which had not done enough to enable an early questioning. They also claim that some of her statements to police officers who that Zschäpe may have rung the old lady’s doorbell shortly after starting the fire – statements which the defense could not ask her about.

It thus seems that the defense is also of the opinion that it was Zschäpe who started the fire. Zschäpe seems to be hoping that the possibility of her ringing the doorbell will lead the court to find that Zschäpe hoped her neighbor was not at home and thus did not have the requisite mens rea for murder. However, there is no basis for such an assumption – quite to the contrary, her ringing the doorbell would show that Zschäpe knew full well that her neighbor was very likely at home. Since she also knew of her neighbor’s impaired mobility, which made her very slow in reacting to the doorbell or in fleeing from the fire, Zschäpe thus found it likely that she might die in the fire. The claim that Zschäpe had rung the doorbell, far from weakening the case for murder, rather strengthens it. The short statement in that regard by a victim’s counsel led to visible reactions by Zschäpe and discussions with her attorneys.

The federal prosecutor’s office gave their answer to an earlier objection by the defense, who had objected to the consideration in the judgment of the bombs found in the search of the Garage in 1998. The prosecution stated that the search had been lawful and all results of that search could be considered.

Finally, the prosecution also gave their statement on a motion by victims’ counsel for certain evidence to be taken in relation to the “NSU/NSDAP”-CD which had apparently been given to the domestic secret service already in 2005. They claimed that it was only an assumption that this CD concerned the NSU and that the NSU was thus known already in 2005 and that there were ongoing intense investigations which could be endangered if evidence was taken in court. According to them, there was currently no reason to believe in a connection to the accused or the NSU. This statement, which is based on specious arguments, shows once again that the federal prosecutor’s office is not really interested in clearing up the NSU’s crimes and more interested in whitewashing federal agencies and keeping alive the claim that the NSU consisted only of three people.