4 February 2016

A rare day without a challenge for alleged bias

Today, the trial was once more interrupted very early upon motion of the Wohlleben defense, who announced their intention to challenge the presiding judge and another member of the bench for alleged bias. However, it seems that the defense realized that such a challenge would invite ridicule – after the break, they stated that they would not bring such challenges after all.

The court then continued the questioning of witness Mario Brehme (on his earlier court appearances see the reports of 15 July 2015 and 14 October 2015). Last time, he had been asked whether he had worked for a secret service agency as an informer. The court had in the meantime asked all secret service agencies whether Brehme had worked for them, which all of them had denied. Therefore Brehme’s appearance today only lasted a few minutes and did not provide him another opportunity for Nazi propaganda.

Next up in the witness box was a police officer testifying on the browser history of a PC found in Holger Gerlach’s apartment. This included several bookmarks leading to Nazi mail order firms and other Nazi websites, including “Blood & Honour”, as well as an interesting internet search which happened after the suicide of Mundlos and Böhnhardt, but before Gerlach’s arrest on 5 November 2011: An internet search for “explosion Eisenach” led to several media reports on the bank robbery and the events surrounding the mobile home in Eisenach. This was followed immediately by research on how long convictions for drug offences remained in the official files, and by a search for Stefan Hachmeister, who is now Gerlach’s defense attorney in the trial. It seems that the very few facts known about the events in Eisenach at that time were already sufficient for Gerlach to prepare for being arrested – the theory presented by his defense, according to which his girlfriend or her daughter could have conducted these searches, seems more than far-fetched.