1 July 2015

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.

As to the content of his statement, he made an even worse impression than other secret service officers before him. Above all, he did everything he could to avoid giving any concrete evidence. He simply confirmed the content of the minutes of meetings with Szczepanskis already known to the court, along the lines of “it that’s what I wrote down…” Other than that, he pretended not to remember anything – not the names of prominent “Blood & Honour” members, not information on weapons being provided to the Trio or on the dissolution of “Blood & Honour” Saxony, not even the number which the office had assigned to informer Szczepanski. He also claimed not to remember that his agency had supported Szczepanski in publishing his zine “United Skins” while incarcerated and had discussed the contents with him – as stated by Szczepanski in court.

The presiding judge asked further questions, reminded Görlitz of his duty as a public servant to prepare for his testimony. However, Görlitz remained adamant that he did not remember anything – he had read the file of “the case”, amounting to eight file folders, but that had been so extensive… This of course raises the question what information rests in that part of the file not known to the court and the parties.

Görlitz had worked with Szczepanski from 1994 until at least 1999, including the time after the second contact office Meyer-Plath had left the service. In 1998, Szczepanski had several times provided information on Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt; at his last meeting with Meyer-Plath, the latter had told him to „stay on the case“. However, the court does not have any documents pertaining to further information provided by him on the NSU.

The fact that Görlitz claimed not to remember anything beyond what’s contained in the indictment could mean that his office possesses much additional information which it does not wish to disclose. Görlitz and the secret service of Brandenburg seem to have decided to present a bumbling officer rather than disclose further information.

At the end of trial day, his questioning was interrupted and he was informed that he will have to appear again – the Wohlleben defense had moved that some of their questions be asked and answered in closed session, a motion the court apparently did not feel ready to decide today. A decision, which will also discuss the reasons presented by the defense, will likely be issued when the questioning of Görlitz continues.