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.

Another witness rebutted the claim often hinted at by the Wohlleben defense that the Ceska murder weapon had been placed in the ruins of the Frühlingsstraße apartment by third parties: the police officer who had found the weapon there reported that it had been found in the very bottom of a huge pile of rubble and only after several hours of excavating. Noone but the police had been allowed on the grounds on the day the gun was found.

The officers’ testimony was followed by additional answers by the Zschäpe defense to questions posed by the court and the Schultze defense, read out by Zschäpe’s counsel Borchers. Like her earlier statements, these answers were very vague, Zschäpe claims not to have known anything and not to have thought about anything. Neither, according to her, had André Eminger known anything.

These answers presented by Zschäpe’s defense attorney remain very low in details when it comes to central issues, while marginal issues are presented at great length. They seem quite farfetched and unbelievable and even contradictory in themselves: thus Zschäpe had claimed at first that she had several times implored the two men to stop killing – today she claimed that she had not even dared talk about topics such as getting an internet connection for fear of being hit by Uwe Böhnhardt.

The presiding judge announced that other parties (i.e. the prosecution, victims’ counsel and the expert witness) will be able to pose their questions tomorrow, meaning that the court is not planning to ask additional questions at the moment.