20 January 2016

On the importance of the Gerlach’s and Schultze’s statements

The trial day began with an announcement by presiding judge Götzl that judge Feistkorn had retired – one of the two remaining alternate judges, judge Kramer, has therefore been activated and joined the bench; he will take part in future decisions in this case, including the judgment.
The court only heard one witness today, a prosecutor who worked with the federal prosecution during the investigation. He was called to testify on the extent to which the statements by accused Gerlach and Schultze had helped the investigation. His answer was that they had helped quite a bit, above all that the arrest warrant against Ralf Wohlleben would not have been issued were it not for their statements, which were then confirmed by further investigations. Above all, he referred to Schultze’s and Gerlach’s statements concerning the weapons they had brought to Mundlos, Böhnhardt and Zschäpe, but also Gerlach’s statement on debates about armed violence within the “Comradeship Jena”. The prosecutor’s testimony will of course have an impact on the sentences that Gerlach and Schultze can expect for the crimes they have admitted.

The Zschäpe and Wohlleben defense teams tried, but failed to lead the witness into speculating about assumed irregularities or inconsistencies concerning the statements.

The Zschäpe defense has announced that it will read out its answers on the questions that the court had asked Zschäpe tomorrow.