Secret service officer from Brandenburg: masquerading instead of telling the truth
Today the court continued the questioning of secret service officer Reiner Görlitz from Brandenburg, who had for several years “led” Nazi cadre and informer Carsten Szczepanski (on the first part of his testimony, see the report of 1 July 2015). His testimony became a farce. Görlitz again appeared in a hooded sweater with the hood pulled far into his face and wearing a wig, he also tried to not look at parties in court.
He began early on to refuse to answer questions by claiming that he was not authorized to do so, beginning with a question on another informer, Toni Stadler. He did state that he had once more read several folders of files in preparation for his testimony – quite surprising, then, that everything of substance he had related on 1 July 2015 would easily have fit onto a sheet of paper. Continue reading
Lies and Trivialization, Part 15 – the non-violent 1990s Nazi scene in Thuringia
Today the court heard only one witness, who had been active in the Nazi party NPD, its youth organization JN and the “Thuringia Home Guard” in the early 1990s. The witness had not been questioned by the police, maybe because he had moved to Kuwait ten years ago. He was summoned based on a motion by the Wohlleben defense who wished to use his testimony to disprove certain incriminating evidence concerning Wohlleben’s role in supporting Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos.
However, his testimony did not contain anything relevant concerning this issue. The witness was obviously still deeply engaged with Nazi ideology and terminology, did all he could to exculpate Zschäpe and Wohlleben, but it quickly became clear that he played fast and loose with the facts in order to do so, as well as garnishing his stories with a hefty dose of neo-National Socialist ideology. Continue reading
More Zschäpe defense antics, and more on the close connection between André Eminger and the trio
The trial day began with more theater: the presiding judge asked whether it was really necessary that he decide on yesterday’s motion concerning the seating order or whether the defense was able to reach an agreement. Counsel Heer responded like he usually does: generally speaking, he stated, he was willing to switch seats, but now that Zschäpe had once more moved for him to be relieved, maybe the other motion was obsolete. Counsel Grasel reacted by modifying the motion concerning seating order, asking that Heer be seated one seat further away from Zschäpe. The defense then changed seats, and by the time the first witness could be called, it was 10:15. Thus the defense, who always insists on the right to a speedy trial, once again wasted everybody’s time with their childish quarrels. The court will likely decide on the new motion for Heer’s removal, copies of which have not yet been provided to all parties, outside of the courtroom. Continue reading
The three assigned counsel ask to be relieved – but fail to state any reasons
The trial day began with motions by the three assigned counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm that they be relieved of their duties. As for the “reasons” for these motions, they simply relied on a “professional affirmation” in their capacity as lawyers that “serious reasons”, as required by the courts for relieving assigned counsel, existed. They claimed not to be able to say more due to attorney-client privilege, adding that they were unable to counsel their client to waive it. Counsel Sturm added that Zschäpe was “partially” aware of the reasons. After several interruptions, statements by parties etc., the presiding judge finally denied the motions.
It was clear that the motions were without a chance of success simply as it did not contain any reasons. Clearly, the professional affirmations of counsel were not sufficient – first of all, it is quite unclear whether it is possible to affirm a legal conclusion – that “serious reasons” exist. And most importantly, just a few weeks ago and in reaction to Zschäpe’s motion to relieve counsel Sturm of her duties, the three had claimed in detail that there were no reasons for relieving her. Continue reading
One of the most brazen witnesses so far: Mario Brehme
This morning, the court heard three witnesses on various topics: the first was a man from Chemnitz whose mother had lived in the house at the address Wolgograder Allee 76 in Chemnitz and who had come across Beate Zschäpe several times in the staircase. This was the house where the trio had lived shortly after having gone underground; the apartment had been provided by André Eminger. The witness related that his mother had complained about the new renters and had told him that they had sung Nazi songs and had thrown cigarette butts from the balcony. She had tried to talk to the woman, whom he identified as Beate Zschäpe in 2011, but had been verbally abused.
Next witness was a police officer from Thuringia who had written several reports on the development of the “Thuringia Home Guard” (THS) However, early in his testimony he revealed that he had simply summarized written reports by the secret service and the state security division of the criminal police and thus was able to report on anything he had seen or heard himself. He had also been involved in investigations against THS members, but was unable to answer any questions posed by victims’ counsel. Continue reading
Another day, another lying Nazi witness – this one so brazen that even the federal prosecution threatens consequences.
First witness today was a police officer who had done research concerning a passport which Holger Gerlach had applied for in 2011 in order to give it to Uwe Böhnhardt. His research revealed that Gerlach had picked up the passport in person on 16 June 2011. Next week, another officer will report on investigations on what happened next, namely Zschäpe traveling to Hannover herself to pick it up – another clear piece of evidence that she was a full member of the NSU on one level with Böhnhardt and Mundlos.
Up next was an office worker from the service where the trio had rented a caravan for the bank robbery in Eisenach on 4 November 2011. The car had been picked up by Böhnhardt and a woman. The latter was accompanied by a girl who called her “mom” and drove away in a car afterwards – clear signs that this was not Beate Zschäpe. The criminal police showed her several pictures of girls, inter alia the daughters of Ralf Wohlleben, Maik Eminger and Mandy Struck, but Continue reading
Zschäpe’s fourth defense counsel is granted a week to catch up
The trial day began with a longish discussion of Zschäpe’s three “old” defense counsel with their newly assigned colleague Grasel. Inter alia, it seems that they were discussing the seating order. Sturm, Stahl and Herr at first sat down at their usual seats and asked Grasel to take a seat at the edge of the Zschäpe defense – Zschäpe simply sat down next to Grasel.
Grasel’s first motion was that the trial be interrupted for three weeks in order to allow him to catch up with the trial. The court partially granted the motion, canceling all trial days for this week and shortening the two final weeks in July to two days each.
This interruption was not legally necessary – as noted by the prosecution, Zschäpe has “three additional defense counsel” who are already up to speed. However, neither was the assignment of Grasel legally necessary after Zschäpe’s motion to have counsel Anja Sturm relieved was denied. It seems that the court’s decision to assign was based on other motives, such as a hope that he might bring Zschäpe to fulfill her announcement of maybe making a statement on some Continue reading
Another contact office of informer Carsten Szczepanski testifies – and provides another clear example of why the secret service and its informer program should simply be abolished
The first witness today was a detective of the federal criminal police who testified on the contents of a CD found in the NSU apartment in the Frühlingsstraße. The CD contains pictures of the Trio on holiday in Northern Germany in 2004. One of the pictures was later used for the “bet” between Böhnhardt and Zschäpe in which Zschäpe wagered “200 video cuts” (see the report of 16 June 2015). Today’s testimony confirms the placement of this bet towards the end of the year 2005.
The only witness in the afternoon was Reiner Görlitz, former contact officer of Brandenburg-based Nazi cadre and secret service informer Carsten Szczepanski (on whose testimony see the reports of 3 December 2014 and 13 January 2015). Görlitz appeared in court wearing a hooded sweater with the hood pulled far over his head and – according to the impression of several listeners – spoke in a voice that was technically altered. Continue reading