13 April 2016

„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.

After a short break, in which the witness counsel conferred inter alia with Wohlleben’s defense attorneys, he announced that his client would not answer any further questions, relying on the privilege against self-incrimination. According to information his client had provided during the break, further testimony could lead to criminal investigations for “actions for which the statute of limitations has not run out yet, or for providing weapons which were then used for other things.” The court did not ask any further questions, and neither did the defense.

The testimony today thus did not reveal anything of relevance to the proceedings – above all there are still no reasons to doubt the chain of custody of the Ceska pistol as laid down in the indictment against Wohlleben and Schultze and backed by extensive evidence.

Two other men from Thuringia, twin brothers and, according to today’s witness, his former gang leaders, are to testify next week.

At the end of the trial day, victims counsel Yavuz Narin moved that two witnesses be heard. Their testimony is to shed more light on the connections between the neo-Nazi and ordinary criminal scenes in Thuringia, but also potential contacts to the surroundings of Michèle Kiesewetter, the police officer murdered by the NSU, and of Andreas Temme.