Monthly Archives: March 2016

17 March 2016

Zschäpe’s statement falling further apart, Wohlleben defense engaged in obstruction, and the court opting for Easter vacation

Today the court first heard two additional witnesses concerning the NSU’s robberies. One of them used the opportunity to make a short statement in court: he would have wished for an official apology also to the surviving victims of the NSU for the many shortcomings in the investigation – as victim of a bank robbery, he had not heard anything in that regard. Zschäpe defense attorneys Heer and Stahl bristled at this statement and asked the presiding judge to interrupt.

The court next heard a police officer whose statement further calls into questions Zschäpe’s statements. Continue reading

16 March 2016

Combating conspiracy theories in the courtroom, and further stories from the Zschäpe defense

The court began with the testimony of several police officers concerning the guns found in the Frühlingsstraße apartment and in the mobile home in Eisenach.

Their testimony helped rebut conspiracy theories concerning the NSU, such as the claim that no brain matter had been found next to the dead bodies of Böhnhardt and Mundlos, showing that they had been murdered elsewhere and placed in the mobile home: answering a question from the Wohlleben defense, a technician with the criminal police answered that there had been “lots of brain matter and lots of blood” next to the bodies. Continue reading

15 March 2016

On the NSU video and the NSU’s newspaper archive

Today the court heard two federal police detectives inter alia on the production process of the NSU video and on an archive found in the Frühlingsstraße apartment containing newspaper clippings concerning the murders and bomb attacks of the NSU.

The first detective was able, despite several attempts at interruption by the defense and despite rather scatterbrained questioning by the presiding judge, to show that the video was prepared in several periods between May of 2006 and November of 2007. Among other steps, in June of 2006, i.e. before the murder of police officer Michèle Kiesewetter and the attempted murder of her colleague, a hand was drawn into the video which fired a shot at a police officer. His colleague reported on her investigations concerning an archive containing several newspaper articles on the NSU’s crimes. Continue reading

9 March 2016

Further statement of accused Carsten Schultze

Today the court first heard two federal criminal police detectives who were part of the team that searched the mobile home in Eisenach in which Böhnhardt and Mundlos had killed themselves. The witnesses found several weapons, including a machine pistol. Another colleague of today’s witnesses, who found several more guns, will testify next week.

The presiding judge then gave the floor to accused Schultze for additional statements. Schultze had already made a detailed statement – albeit one seriously downplaying his own role – at the beginning of the trial (see the reports of 4 June 2013, 5 June 2013, 11 June 2013, 12/13 June 2013, 18 June 2013, 19/20 June 2013 and 10 October 2013). Now he wished to make an additional statement after several former “comrades” of his, particularly from the youth organization of the Nazi party NPD, the “Young National Democrats” (JN), had testified. Continue reading

8 March 2016

Further witness testimony on the NSU’s robberies

Today the court heard the testimony of several police detectives from Saxony who had been involved in the investigations concerning the NSU’s robberies of several post office and credit unions in Chemnitz and Zwickau. At the time, while there had been surveillance videos as well as shoe and tire prints at some locations, the police had been unable to catch the perpetrators.

It was only after 4 November 2011 that the federal criminal police managed to tie these crimes to the NSU based on clothes, weapons and parts of the loot which were found in the NSU apartment in Zwickau and in the mobile home in Eisenach.

3 March 2016

More witnesses on the NSU’s brutal bank robberies.

Today the court heard further witnesses on the NSU’s bank robberies, this time concerning three robberies of credit unions in Chemnitz in the years 2004 and 2005. Their testimony again showed these crimes conforming to the by now well-known template, particularly as concerns the very brutal way in which Mundlos and Böhnhardt – by now armed with a pistol and a pumpgun – carried them out. In all cases, they threatened bank tellers by pointing their guns at them at very close distances, hit them on the head with their guns, destroyed bank interiors, in one case of them even showed a hand grenade and threatened to use it he was not given additional money.

Hardly surprising, therefore, that many of the bank tellers and customers are still suffering from visible psychological damage today – one customer reported that she had never set foot in another credit union since 2004, several tellers burst into tears in court as once-buried memories of the events resurfaced due their summons to appear and their questioning in court. Continue reading

2 March 2016

Challenge for bias rejected, robbery of a post office and even more reasons to get abolish the domestic secret service

The challenge brought by the Wohlleben defense against all judges for alleged bias was rejected – as was to be expected since it was simply based on a (likely willful) misunderstanding of the decision on which it was based. The court continued the trial – beginning, however, only at 1 p.m. and without giving any reasons for the delay.

It first heard two witnesses concerning an NSU robbery of a post office in Zwickau in July of 2011. This crime was quite similar to the other robberies– tellers threatened with guns, customers entering the office sprayed with pepper spray, a loot of roughly 75,000 marks, severe psychological consequences for the postal workers still noticeable during their testimony in court. Continue reading