2 December 2014

Secret service informers: „people who don’t just report, but people who act and then report on those acts”

The first two witnesses today were two retired police detectives from Switzerland whom the court had summoned upon a motion by the Wohlleben defense. In 1996, the detectives had conducted an investigation against a German national who had made illegal trades with gun bought in Switzerland. The arms dealer from whom Hans-Ulrich Müller had received the murder weapon Ceska played a peripheral role in that investigation. As reported earlier, this is a desperate attempt by the Wohlleben defense to call into question the chain of custody of the Ceska – today, this became even more pointless as the two witnesses had not even dealt directly with the arms dealer in question.

Next up to testify was the ex-husband of Antje Probst, the latter having testified concerning “Blood & Honour” Saxonia and its support to “the Three” two weeks ago (see the report of 20 November 2014).

Probst also tried to present himself as mostly apolitical and his contacts to other cadres, e.g. Jan Werner of “B&H”, as “solely neighborly”, claiming to have always distanced himself from “political wackos.” He said that he had never met Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos, that there had been rumors about the Nazis from Thuringia who had gone underground, but that he did not recall who had spread those rumors as he had not been interested anyway. In his police interview, he had recalled a number of additional details – today he tried to explain that due to the enormous pressure on them, the police officers had questioned him in a “highly leading” manner.

Buried within these fairy tales, however, were a number of impression of the scene which are probably closer to the truth than most of what other witnesses from the scene have reported so far: Thus the witness described those secret service informers whose identities are known to him as “active cadres”, as „people who don’t just report, but people who act and then report on those acts” – such as Thomas Starke, about whom he said that “if he was not present, nothing much happened” – something that can probably be said about the early support granted to von Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos as well. Another impression that the witness likely shares with others watching the proceedings is that of the public appearances of the “Thuringia Homeguard” as martial, menacing and frightening.

Probst refused to testify on the role of his ex-wife, stating that he had been advised to do so as his testimony could incriminate her – “maybe she had something to do with these things.” The court interrupted his testimony; Probst will have to appear again in two weeks accompanied by a witness counsel.