22 September 2015

The difficulty of the plains: Dealing with the physical evidence

Today’s court day was rather short, three police officers testified as witnesses:
The first witness, a federal criminal police detective, had dealt with a postcard found in the Frühlingsstraße apartment. This card was sent to the Frühlingsstraße apartment from Dortmund about six months before the murder of Mehmet Kubaşik in that city. The banal text – “Very warm greetings the weather is nice bye” was very likely written by Uwe Böhnhardt. The day the card was sent corresponds with a caravan rental, there is also a list of potential murder victims in Dortmund which was printed out on the next day, with remarks such as “good object, suitable owner.” Apparently, Mundlos and Böhnhardt found time while scouting out potential murder victims to send Zschäpe in Zwickau a postcard showing a baby elephant.

Next witness was a police officer who had, in 1997, authored two reports summarizing police intelligence regarding Böhnhardt and Mundlos – however, today he remembered having written these reports, but did not remember their content.

The third witness, another federal detective, reported on rather extensive investigations concerning a pay and display ticket found in the mobile home in Eisenach on 4 November 2011. According to the investigations, this vehicle was parked in Leipzig on 25 October 2011, very close to a hospital where accused Eminger was a patient at the time. Apparently, then, the trio visited Eminger in the hospital – further evidence for the close connection between Eminger and Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt until the very end. Given the way the trial has been conducted so far, it hardly needs to be said that these investigations occurred only after a motion by victims’ counsel – apparently both federal police and federal prosecutors saw no need to follow this link. Their aim to present the trio as an isolated group seems to be more important to them than proving the guilt of accused Eminger.

According to the list of witness for the next weeks, the court will continue dealing with physical evidence for quite a while – to give one example, the taking of evidence concerning maps found in the Frühlingsstraße apartment alone will take up several days.

Wednesday and on Thursday, the court will hear the report of an expert witness on DNA evidence – we will report on his testimony on Thursday.