Witness testimony concerning the Ceska murder weapon
Today the court heard a member of the federal prosecutor’s office who had been present during the questioning of a Swiss witness, the wife of the first buyer of the Ceska murder weapon, by Swiss authorities. The court is planning to read out the minutes of her testimony lateron.
Like her husband, the witness had refused to appear in Munich. In a letter to the court announcing her refusal, her husband had referred to himself as “the straw buyer from Switzerland”.
Her testimony did not reveal much of relevance; she stated that she did not remember much. Her husband had stated in his testimony that he had bought the Ceska for an acquaintance – who, according to the prosecutor’s investigations, then brought it to Thuringia.
At the end of the trial day, the court read out several documents, such as expert opinions, search warrants and police reports.
Potential gun merchants to the NSU refuse to testify.
After the sharp debates in court yesterday, the trial today was without significant developments. The two witnesses, twins and alleged former gang leaders in Thuringie, relied on the privilege against self-incrimination and refused to testify.
The court then heard several comments by parties on motions, followed by additional reports of secret service agencies, based on informer statements, on the accused and persons surrounding them.
The Wohlleben defense brought further motions for evidence, claiming that the Swiss gun dealer who had originally sold the Ceska murder weapon was involved in illegal gun deals.
At the end of the trial day, the presiding judge read out a decision denying motions by victims‘ counsel on informer „Corelli“ and the DVD entitled „NSU/NSDAP“. Continue reading
Federal prosecution reneges on its promise to clear up the facts
This morning the court heard a witness on the robbery of a post office in Chemnitz. This was followed by the federal prosecution’s comments on victims counsel motions for evidence concerning secret service informer “primus”, Ralf Marschner as well as connections between the Nazi scene and the general criminal scene in Thuringia.
Prosecutor Diemer asked that the motions concerning Marschner be denied in their entirety, arguing that the factual claims made, if proven, would have no influence on the court’s judgment. Victims’ counsel pointed out that this was another clear case of the prosecution reneging on its promise to the NSU’s victims to clear up all relevant facts. Continue reading
Challenge for alleged bias rejected, Secret service reports introduced.
The trial began at 1pm today as the court needed additional time to deal with the challenge for alleged bias brought against the court by the Wohlleben defense last week. Unsurprisingly, that challenge was rejected as unfounded.
The presiding judge then posed further questions to accused Zschäpe, which will be answered by her counsel at some later time.
Topics include her contacts with attorney Eisenecker, brokered by Tino Brandt, Ralf Wohlleben and Carsten Schultze, the uses to which the money made during the robberies was put, a meeting during which Holger Gerlach was given money and in return provided a health insurance card for Zschäpe, a visit by Gerlach to the Zwickau apartment, as well as the question whether Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had access to motorbikes. Continue reading
„There is nothing left up here but air“ – further testimony of a witness from the criminal scene in Jena does not reveal anything relevant
Today the court continued to question a witness from the criminal scene in Jena who had begun his testimony a few weeks ago (see the report of 16 February 2016). This time he brought his counsel with him, a lawyer currently also defending an accused from the Nazi scene in Thuringia.
As last time, his testimony was a mixture of Gangster war stories and failures to remember. Of the latter, some seemed like attempts to evade the court’s questions, but some seemed quite real – when the witness stated that “there is nothing left up here but air”, it was not hard to believe him.
Another week, another challenge for alleged bias brought by the Wohlleben defense
For today, the court had summoned only two witnesses, a police officer and a post office teller, both of whom testified on the robbery of a post office in Zwickau in 2001.
However, their testimony only started around 3.30 pm – the Wohlleben defense took up all the time until then by first asking for a lengthy break for deliberations, then for an even longer break in order to write up a challenge for alleged bias and then by reading out the long and convoluted challenge. Their challenge – this time directed against all judges of the court, is based on the allegedly wrong reasoning for denying their motion for a stay of proceedings brought last week (see the report of 5 April 2016). Like all other such challenges, it is without any merit.
Motion by the Wohlleben defense to suspend the trial: much ado about very very little. And: court asks Zschäpe additional questions, this time concerning Holger Gerlach.
Those who had hoped that the court would conduct the trial with a bit more vigor after the Easter break were due for a disappointment: The court again interrupted the trial shortly after 1 pm, without having heard any witnesses, and also canceled the trial day tomorrow.
This was due to a motion by the Wohlleben defense, brought before the Easter break, for suspension of the trial: During the search of Wohlleben’s apartment in 2011, police had found and photographed a T-shirt clearly showing his National Socialist ideology – under the heading of “Railway Romanticism”, it shows train tracks leading to the concentration camp Auschwitz.
The prosecution had only entered a printout of this photo into the case file a few weeks ago. The defense now moved that the trial against Wohlleben be suspended, i.e. interrupted and started anew later on, arguing that the case file was incomplete. The court at first denied the motion, but after a motion to reconsider it decided to provide printouts to the defense right away and interrupt the trial for one week. Continue reading