15 December 2015

Testimony of a supporter, and questions for accused Zschäpe.

The first and only witness today was a former “comrade” of the Kameradschaft Jena who was questioned about the details of Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt going underground. Together with Wohlleben’s girlfriend at the time, he had tried to pick up Wohlleben in Erfurt, had procured clothing from Zschäpe’s apartment and had then driven around in Böhnhardt’s car in order to draw the police away from those going underground. The precise order of events did not quite become clear as this witness too tried to reveal as little as possible. What did become clear is that the group believed at the time that Wohlleben would also be among those arrested and that he was therefore part of the flight plan. Whether Wohlleben himself planned to go undercover remains unclear as of now. The witness contradicted the claim in Zschäpe’s statement that she had met Böhnhardt and Mundlos in his parents’ apartment, where they told her what had been in the garage.

After the lunch break, the presiding judge posed the questions he wants to ask Zschäpe. Her counsel Grasel had announced once more that Zschäpe will answer these questions in written form through her counsel Grasel or Borchert.

Most of the questions concern details in her written statement, but some also concern alcohol and drug use and illnesses. Above all, the presiding judge asked about the political ideology of Mundlos and Böhnhardt, about friends, political contacts and supporters. Another focus was the alleged dispute between Zschäpe on the one hand and Mundlos and Böhnhardt on the other after they had told her about the murders and attacks. Götzl also asked about plans to emigrate to South Africa and about Zschäpe’s contacts to Nazi advocate Eisenecker, whom she claimed to have told about the robbery at a supermarket in late 1998 and the previous crimes and who had stated that she was facing an eight- to ten year prison sentence.

The presiding judge thus asked only relatively few questions which suggest themselves based on the text of the statement. He apparently does not want a long-drawn game of written questions and answers. The other parties only “put down” very few questions – after all, counsel Grasel had announced that only questions of the court and the co-accused would be answered. Many victims’ counsel stated that they wished to answer questions, but first wanted to hear what Zschäpe had to say in answer to the court’s questions.

Grasel announced that the questions posed today will be answered in January.