10 February 2015

On the motion by the Zschäpe defense and on another witness with memory problems.

The first witness today was another victims of the nail bomb in the Keupstraße in Cologne. He was a customer of the hairdresser’s when the bomb exploded in front of the shop. He was extremely lucky to escape without injuries, but his girl friend who had accompanied him suffered several cuts, burns and damage to the ear drum as well as severe psychological injuries: “In the days after the attack, the telephone ringing would really startle her.” She will testify at a later date.

Parties then commented on the defense motion made last week to revoke the right of counsel Alexander Hoffmann’s client to join proceedings as a private accessory prosecutor. The federal prosecution was of the opinion that she is not victim of an attempted murder, but of attempted battery and as such entitled to join the proceedings. Hoffmann also made another statement showing once more that the defense motion was obviously without merit and that one could not help but feel that it was simply an attempt at propaganda against victims and their counsel. The concluding paragraphs of his statement were as follows:

„The attempt to call into question the right of a victim to join proceedings at this point, before the expert witness report on the explosive effect of the bomb, aims to exclude all but a few severely injured persons from being considered as “real” victims and thus to obscure the murderous dimension of the attack. The idea behind it: if one can claim that a person who was in the immediate vicinity at the time of the blast and who by chance was not injured is not a victim of the bomb, the fact that this attack was directed against all Keupstraße residents is eclipsed.
The nail bomb attack in the Keupstraße aimed at terror in its most immediate form. This fact several incriminates the accused Zschäpe. The motion by her defense can only be aimed at diverting attention from this fact. It must be rejected.”

Victim’s counsel Gül Pinar subscribed to this statement and added remarks on the fact that this was a clear example of a hate crime, of an attack against migrants based on their being migrants. The Wohlleben and Zschäpe defense interrupted since they obviously did not want to have this fact discussed in court. Other victims’ counsel also joined in Hoffmann’s statements.
In the afternoon, the court continued to question the Nazi witness who had already testified on 3 February 2015. As during his earlier questioning, the witness claimed not to remember much, but was also cautious not to clearly deny things which might be proven in other ways, instead constantly repeating “I can’t exclude that that happened”, “that’s possible” or “it may have been that way”. What became clear once more is that contacts between Böhnhardt, Mundlos, Zschäpe and their “comrades” from Jena on the one hand and neo-Nazis in Chemnitz on the other dated back to the early 1990s. Importantly, the Wohlleben defense again failed to prove the claims contained in its motion to hear the witness, namely that the scene in Chemnitz did not know Wohlleben, that “the Three” had become radicalized only in Chemnitz and without influence by the rest of the scene. Quite to the contrary, the witness confirmed that he had identified Wohlleben as “Wolle from Thuringia” in an earlier police interview.