Once again on secret service officer Temme
The trial day was mostly taken up by the continued questioning of secret service officer Andreas Temme from Kassel and of his wife. As reported earlier, victims’ counsel had found in the case file several phone calls of Temmes with his colleagues and a phone call of his wife with her sister which call into question Temme’s claims that he had seen nothing, heard nothing and done nothing.
The trial day began, however, with a motion brought by accused Zschäpe herself that further witness testimony only be taken after attorney Mathias Grasel is appointed as fourth defense attorney. Grasel had earlier visited Zschäpe in jail and counseled her on certain issues there. As yet there is no formal motion that he be appointed either instead of Anja Sturm, whom Zschäpe wished to have relieved, or as a fourth counsel. Apparently, the presiding judge had had the idea of having Sturm continue as forced counsel against Zschäpe’s will and at the same time heed her wish to have a trusted counsel in the trial by appointing Gradel. Zschäpe has taken up Continue reading
Once more on the Keupstraße bombing attack, and more on secret service officer Temme
The first witness today was another victim of the nail bomb attack in the Keupstraße in Cologne. At the time of the explosion, he was in the travel office of his father in the Keupstraße. He was lucky to remain uninjured since a delivery van was parked between him and the bomb – the van caught several dozen nails. The two expert witnesses, who had already presented clear and convincing reports on the deadly danger emanating from the bomb (see the report of [link] 11 February 2015), confirmed those reports and supplemented them with regard to the witness of today and other Keupstraße witnesses who had testified in the last months.
In the afternoon, the court heard another colleague of secret service officer Temme, a Mr. Hess who in 2006 was the officer responsible for “protection of official secrets”. He, too, had talked on the phone to Temme several times after the murder of Halit Yozgat in Kassel, at a time when Temme was suspect in the proceedings concerning that murder. These conversations were Continue reading
On the trio’s mens rea for murder from the very beginning
Today the court only heard one witness before interrupting to allow accused Zschäpe to get treatment for a toothache. His testimony, however, brought about rather interesting insights which once more called into question the prosecution thesis that the NSU had consisted only of three accused.
The witness reported that during the robbery of a supermarket in Chemnitz on 18 December 1998, he had been standing in front of the supermarket and had run after the fleeing robbers. One of them had called “don’t move”, had shot at him several times. He heard one bullet go past his head, another had hit the supermarket wall behind him – he had looked at the bullet hole at roughly shoulder height several times after that day. Continue reading
On telephone conversations, tapped by the police, of secret service officer Temme with his colleagues
Today the court heard three former colleagues of Andreas Temme, officer of the Hessian domestic secret service and contact officer for several informers. Temme had had phone conversations with each of them in April/Mai 2006, when he had been a suspect in the case concerning the murder of Halit Yozgat in Kassel.
On 9 May 2006, Temme had called his superior Muth, inter alia to talk about his official statement concerning the case. Muth first told him to simply write down events as they had happened, but quickly turned around and instead proposed that Temme first talk to a mutual colleague.
On 2 and 15 May 2006, Temme talked on the phone to his colleague Fehling. In the first conversation, Fehling reported on measures taken by the office to hinder and control the police investigation: they had made sure that the police did not have access to Temme’s sources or to the reports he had written in connection with the case. On a reconstruction effort at the scene of the crime which the police had at first planned to conduct with Temme, Fehling stated Continue reading
Bad vibrations within the Zschäpe defense, and on Zschäpe’s involvement in producing the NSU video.
At today’s trial day, Zschäpe’s motion to relive her counsel Sturm of her duties (see the report of 10 June 2015) was not mentioned at all. However, Zschäpe’s signs of rejection towards not only Sturm, but also her other counsel Heer and Stahl. Anja Sturm had told the court last week that Zschäpe’s allegations against her were untrue. Stahl and Heer also weighed in, also claiming that Zschäpe’s claims were untrue. Zschäpe has asked the court to allow her to give her answer on Wednesday, allowing her to retain counsel before doing so. A decision on Zschäpe’s motion, in which she has asked for Sturm to be relieved, but has not yet named a new counsel, is to be expected next week at the earliest.
The first witness was a detective of the federal criminal police who testified on the robberies committed by the NSU, this time concerning a bank robbery in Zwickau in September of 2002, and on evidence that this robbery had been committed by Mundlos and Böhnhardt: Inter alia, weapons and items of clothing used in the robbery were very similar to those found in the Frühlingsstraße apartment and the mobile home in Eisenach, and part of the loot, such as blank savings books, was also found in the Frühlingsstraße apartment. Continue reading
Zschäpe wants new defense lawyers, Part II – now she wants Anja Sturm to go.
After several interruptions, the presiding judge announced that Zschäpe had made a motion that defense attorney Anja Sturm be relieved of her position. The reasons for that motion are still not known. Court was adjourned for the day.
Zschäpe had already declared once, on 16 July 2014, that she had lost trust in her defense lawyers. Her motion to relieve all three of their positions had been rejected a few days later because the court held that the reasons she had provided were insufficient. Continue reading
On the NSU’s guns, on the robberies and once more on secret service informer Degner.
Today the court first heard reports from expert witnesses concerning the NSU’s guns. Above all, this concerned ammunition found in the NSU apartment in the Frühlingsstraße in Zwickau. Several bullet casings, all caliber 6.35mm Browning, had been fired from four different weapons of which only one was found – apparently the NSU had even more guns. Some of the casings had been fired from the gun used in a robbery in a supermarket in Chemnitz in December of 1998, likely the first robbery committed by the NSU, during which they had shot at a young man who had tried to follow them.
The next three witnesses reported on other robberies committed by the NSU. A police officer who had investigated robberies in Chemnitz detailed the investigations in these cases, two witnesses reported on a robbery in a post office in Chemnitz in November of 2000.
Victims’ counsel moved that an officer of the domestic secret service in Thuringia be heard as a witness. He had “led” informer Marcel Degner, head of “Blood and Honour” Thuringia. As reported earlier (see the reports of 11 March 2015 and 20 May 2015), Degner has denied working as an informer. Large parts of his file in Thuringia have been destroyed, but copies of some documents have been found in the files of the federal secret service. A former officer of the service, who had recruited Degner, had already testified on the issue – somewhat indifferently (see the report of 22 April 2015). Given Degner’s refusal, the information he provided to the service back then are now to be introduced via his former contact officer. This information shows the extent to which “the Three” were integrated in the “Blood and Honour” scene in Saxony as well as the number of people involved in supporting them who had knowledge of their whereabouts, their activities and their ideology.
At the end of the trial day, the presiding judge announced that the court would continue to sit only two trial days per week in June out of consideration for Beate Zschäpe’s health – psychiatrist and expert witness Nedopil is on vacation and thus unable to determine whether a reduction in the trial schedule was still called for.