7 June 2016

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:

Brandt admitted – once more – that he had received large sums of money from the secret service in Thuringia and funnelled it into the Nazi scene, some of that money had surely also ended up with Carsten Schultze and his “youth group” – the “Young National Democrats”, the youth organization of the Nazi party NPD. He claimed, however, that neither he or people surrounding him had ever had anything to do with guns.

Brandt’s testimony therefore again raised no reason to doubt Schultze’s statement that it was Wohlleben who had bought the weapon together with him and provided the money – not from his own finances, but from money given by others for the support of Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt.

At the end of the trial day, the federal prosecution commented on the motions and motions for reconsideration brought by victims’ counsel last week (see the report of 2 June 2016), defending the court’s original decisions. Prosecutor Dr. Diemer used the opportunity to attack victims’ counsel, charging that the terminology used by them was inappropriate “among members of the bar”. He again charged that “some” victims’ counsel were trying to force the Munich court to clear up all the facts surrounding the NSU. Accusing the court of refusing to clear up relevant facts was inappropriate and “legally speaking, total nonsense“, Diemer continued.

Sebastian Scharmer responded on behalf of victims‘ counsel and stated clearly that it was precisely the acts and omissions of the federal prosecution, in particular its early decision to present the NSU as an isolated group of three individuals, which it still defends today, but also their secretiveness concerning others accused of supporting the group and concerning informers in their surroundings, which force the victims and their counsel to use every possible chance to request further elucidation. For the victims, it is wholly unacceptable that there is to be no further discussion of the fact that secret service informer Temme was at the crime scene in Kassel, that nothing further is to be done about reports that Zschäpe, Böhnhardt and Mundlos were in contact with an informer, who may also have rented a car used for one of the NSU’s murders, over a period of years, that attempts of the secret service to destroy evidence in the form of informer case files are to be simply accepted. All these issues belong in the Munich trial since all these issues are closely linked to the acts of which Zschäpe, Böhnhardt, Mundlos und the other supporters on trial in Munich are accused.