More on Carsten Schultze’s statements
Today the court continued the questioning of a police officer who had already testified on 8 June 2016. This officer had been present at all interviews of accused Carsten Schultze. The Wohlleben defense tried for quite some time to get the witness to say something about Schultze’s testimony having been contradictory or in some other way implausible. These attempts were unsuccessful.
Quite to the contrary, Schultze himself, who today asked the witness some questions in court, was able to clear up one seeming contradiction: in the minutes of one interview, he is recorded as having said that he did not clearly remember having been given the money for the weapon from Wohlleben. The defense had seen this as a statement that Schultze might have received the money from someone other than Wohlleben. When asked by Schultze today, the officer stated that he had asked Schultze about details such as the denominations of the money and that Schultze had answered that since he did not have a very concrete recollection of being given the money by Wohlleben, he of course did not remember such details.
A short appearance by informer „Giant“, and further refusal by the court to clear up the facts.
The only witness today was Marcel Degner aka „Giant“, former „Blood and Honour“ head in Thuringia and secret service informer “Hail”. In his earlier statements in court, he had denied having been an informer, even after his former contact officer had clearly identified him as such (see the reports of 11 March 2015 und 20 May 2015). This was such a brazen lie that the prosecution service in Munich initiated criminal proceedings charging him with perjury.
Today Degner stated that he had nothing to add to his previous statements; asked whether he had been an informer, he refused to answer. After some discussion, the presiding judge sent Degner home for today, announcing that he will be called to testify again in a few weeks. Degner’s earlier testimony has not been formally concluded, therefore he is still able to avoid criminal responsibility by rectifying untrue statements – the presiding judge seems to be giving him an opportunity to consider this option. Continue reading
Tedious gathering of evidence necessary for the judgment
Today the court heard the testimony of two police officers: the first testified on the finger prints of Beate Zschäpe found on two newspaper articles reporting on the NSU’s crimes – these articles were found in an “archive” in the Frühlingsstraße apartment. The other witness, a detective with the Kassel criminal police, testified on attempts to find out the precise time of the murder of Halit Yozgat in Kassel in 2006 – as previously reported, secret service officer Temme had been present at the crime scene and had not reported to the police as a witness.
The court also read out the minutes of an interview conducted by Swiss authorities with Hans-Ulrich Müller, who according to the indictment was responsible for transporting the Ceska pistol from Switzerland to the mixed scene of Nazis and common criminals in Jena, from where it then found its way, via accused Wohlleben and Schultze, to the NSU. Müller had refused to come to Munich, but had testified to Swiss authorities. Continue reading
No trial days during the week of 20 June 2016
The trial days on 21 to 23 June 2016 have been cancelled due to a judge
having fallen ill. The trial is scheduled to continue on Tuesday, 28
Witness “Görlitz” once again presents good reasons to abolish the domestic secret service.
Today the court once again heard witness “Reinhard Görlitz”, who in his earlier statements in court had already shown that the domestic secret service is simply trying at all costs to keep secret its role in the context of the NSU and that no method of refusing to answer questions is too brazen or too embarrassing (see the report of 1 July 2015, 29 July 2015 and 2 March 2016).
Today, the witness again claimed not to remember anything. Above all, he claimed not to know anything about a meeting between the secret service agencies of Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saxony discussing what to do about the information on Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt given by Szczpanski. Just like his earlier statements, this claim not to remember is hardly believable: for one, this way highly significant information – had it been provided to the police, the NSU members could have been arrested and the Ceska murder series and other crimes been prevented. In addition, Görlitz was Szczepanski’s contact officer and thus would have had to be informed about anything that could plausibly present a threat to Szczepanski – including whether or not information given by him was passed on to the police.
„What about the bang“ – and what about witness memories?
The only witness today was a criminal police detective from Berlin who was to testify about a telephone surveillance conducted, in the context of the investigation into Nazi band “Landser”, against Blood and Honour leader Jan Werner from Chemnitz in 1998-2001. On 25 August 1998, Werner had send a text message “What about the bang?” to a cell phone belonging to secret service informer Carsten Szczepanski. This indicates that Werner was tasked with buying a gun for Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt and trying to enlist Szczepanski’s help, and thus also that there was an opening to effect an arrest of the three who had gone underground – a chance the Brandenburg secret service chose not to use (see the report of 15 March 2016). Continue reading
Once more on the early statements of Carsten Schultze
Today the court once more dealt with the early statements of Carsten Schultze after the NSU had uncovered itself in 2011.
First expert witness Prof. Leygraf reported once more – he was tasked with psychiatric investigations on which the court will base its decisions whether Schultze – aged 19 or 20 at the time of the acts he is charged with – will be tried as a juvenile under German criminal law. Leygraf reported on the statements Schultze had made vis-à-vis him. His impression of Schultze’s reports on his own activities in the Nazi scene is quite similar to that of many among victims’ counsel: according to Leygraf, Schultze had focused on that time as a time of experiences, leaving out the political content: “he represented that time more as a time of boy scout romanticism.” Continue reading
Another failed attempt by the Wohlleben defense – further testimony by secret service informer Tino Brandt
The court only heard one witness today, former “Thuringia Homeguard” leader and secret service informer Tino Brandt. Brandt had already testified over several days in 2014 (see the reports of 15 July 2014, 16 July 2014, 23 September 2014 and 24 September 2014). He was recalled as witness upon a motion by the Wohlleben defense in order to testify on where the money for the murder weapon Ceska had come from.
The defense is trying to raise doubts concerning the statement by accused Carsten Schultze that he had received that money from Ralf Wohlleben. How exactly it hoped to achieve this through the testimony of Brandt, who is everything but believable, is unclear. And in fact his testimony did not reveal anything relevant: Continue reading
Victims’ counsel demand that the court clear up of the facts – Protest against its rejection of motions for evidence “at all costs”
Today’s trial day was marked above all by several motions for reconsideration against the court’s rejection of central motions for evidence throughout the last months.
But first, the court heard two police detectives concerning the financial situation of Ralf Wohlleben as well as early police interviews of accused Schultze – their testimony did not uncover any relevant new issues.
Thereafter, victims’ counsel presented several extensive motions for reconsideration against the rejection of central motions for evidence. These concern text messages sent from NSU supporter Thomas Starke’s phone number, several case files at the federal domestic secret service which had been destroyed on 11 November 2011 and later reconstructed (see the report of 3 August 2015), informer Ralf Marschner from Zwickau (see the reports of 20 April 2016 and 11 May 2016) as well as files concerning former informer Szczepanski, who had reported on plans by Blood and Honour Chemnitz to provide weapons to the NSU (see the report of 2 March 2016 on the latest appearance of his contact officer in court). Continue reading
On the early statements of Carsten Schultze
Today the court heard only one witness, a federal criminal police detective who had been involved in the first police interview of accused Carsten Schultze. In that interview, Schultze – trying visibly to “dig up” the long-suppressed memories of his activities in the Nazi scene – had already related the purchase of the Ceska pistol in pretty much the same way as he did later in court. Above all, his statements on the role of Wohlleben has always been the same: Wohlleben had sent him to the proprietor of the scene shop “Madley’s”, saying “go to Schultz”, and Schultz had indeed sold him the pistol.
Schultze also tried already in that interview to downplay his own role and his co-responsibility for the NSU’s crimes. Inter alia, he claimed that he had not ordered the silencer and that he had not given any thought on the uses to which the pistol would be put.
Unsurprisingly given that Schultze massively incrimates Wohlleben, the Wohlleben defense tried to question the witness in a confrontational manner and to lead her into contradictory statements. They were, however, unsuccessful – the witness showed an embarrising lapse when she misremembered the legal instruction given to Schultze (she remembered that he had been instructed as a witness, when the minutes of the interview show that he was correctly instructed as an accused), but the defense was unable to raise any doubts on the substantive issues.