29 September 2015

Court denies several motions for evidence

Today, the court first dealt once more with the nail bomb attack in the Keupstraße in Cologne – one victim who had joined the proceedings had so far not testified in court, her lawyer announced that she was in hospital in Turkey. A son of her friend’s, who had been summoned as witness in hopes that he could make additional statements on her exact whereabouts at the time of the explosion, was also unable due to an acute illness. The court did hear a physician from a Cologne hospital, who only vague remembered having treated a female patient with several cuts, she had gone home later that day and had not appeared for further treatment.
Next up was the medical who reported on the danger to the then 16 year old young man who had been shot at during the robbery at a supermarket in Chemnitz in December 1998. The caliber used – 6.35mm Browning – was a rather small pistol caliber, the expert witness related, but in case of hits to the head, neck, torso or other areas of the body, fatal injuries were quite likely. His report also confirmed that all statements made by the witness concerning the shots aimed at him (volume of the noise made by the shots, size of the pistol etc.) were very plausible. Thus the indictment, which charges this crime as attempted murder, has been confirmed also from the medical point of view.

The presiding judge then read out several decisions denying motions for evidence, some brought by the defense, most by victims’ counsel, from 2013 and 2014. It seemed like this was, for one, an attempt to do something relevant on this trial day. Among others, a motion by victims’ counsel aimed at clearing up an armed Combat 18-group in Dortmund with contacts to Kassel was denied, as was a motion to summon as witness a neo-Nazi who had scouted out a building housing asylum seekers together with Mundlos, during the period before the Three had gone underground.

These decisions show that the court does not wish to further elucidate the issue of networks of supporters beyond Blood and Honour Saxony and that in its opinion, the ideology of the accused has been proven sufficiently. It remains to be seen whether this decision, coming shortly after the court had taken a stricter line in restricting questioning of witnesses by victims’ counsel, marks the beginning of a changed approach by the court in general. So far, the court had not followed the policy of the federal prosecutors who wishes to simply convict these accused and be done with the issue – whether the court will from now on follow the same course remains to be seen.