21 October 2014

The federal prosecution conjures up witness testimony from thin air – questioning of a witness had to be interrupted

Victims’ counsel have moved several time that the files of the investigation against unknown persons be made part of the case file. The files of these proceedings, which are directed against potential further NSU supporters, are always good for a surprise. The federal prosecutor’s office files all documents which it does not want the parties in Munich to know in this file and where parties ask for access to that file, they claim that the contents of that file are not relevant for the Munich trial or that granting access would endanger the investigation. In the past, this file turned out to contain such gems as the minutes of police interviews with former informer Michael See and Hammerskin Thomas Gerlach, who testified last week.

And this case file again became relevant today. Smack in the middle of the testimony of the first witness – the former girlfriend of Hans-Ulrich Müller, who according to the indictment had brought the murder weapon Ceska to Germany – prosecutor Diemer asked presiding judge Götzl whether he was not in possession of the minutes of that woman’s 18 June 2004 interview. He was not – hardly surprising as those minutes had only been sent from the federal prosecution’s headquarter in Karlsruhe to the prosecutors in Munich the same morning. Naturally the questioning of the witness had to be interrupted in order to grant the parties an opportunity to read those minutes. Not only does this lead to a further delay of the trial – something victims’ counsel are often claimed to be responsible for when they ask “too many” questions. More importantly, the questions remains what other important testimony and other investigations the prosecution has parked by in the case file against unknown persons in order to keep it secret and bring it to light only when needed for its plans.

The same question became relevant in the afternoon. A police detective from the land of Baden-Württemberg related her investigations – based on the list of names found next to the bombs in the garage searched in 1998, she and her colleagues had investigated what contacts “the Three” had to Baden-Württemberg and had found several witnesses who had often been in contact with them. Among others, witness statements had shown “the Three” to have been in Ludwigsburg in 1999 and 2001 – witness statements which are not known to the parties. A secret service informer had also stated that Mundlos had talked to him about bank robberies – testimony which is not known to the parties and apparently buried in the case file against unknown persons because the federal prosecution deems it “not relevant”.