15 June 2016

„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).

Today’s witness claimed not to remember anything concerning the topic of guns, nor anything concerning Blood and Honour membership of persons involved, nor his interviews with various parliamentary inquiry commissions, nor any other topic which could have proven relevant – he stated that, in the context of a promotion, he had “switched into the area of combatting left wing extremism”. In the beginning, it seemed conceivable that his memory gaps were real and simply based on a lack of interest. However, this impression changed, at the latest, when he was questioned by victims’ counsel, inter alia about testimony from the parliamentary commissions which indicated that he had been involved in recruiting Blood and Honour activist Thomas Starke as an informer for the criminal police in Berlin. At this point, his attempts to simply duck all questions became quite brazen and bizarre.

His testimony thus did not lead to anything of interest for the trial in Munich.
Wohlleben defense attorney Klemke continued his attempts at defending the Nazi scene as such by bringing a challenge for alleged bias against expert witness Leygraf, based on Leygraf’s asking Carsten Schultze how he had dealt with the “widespread xenophobic slogans” in the scene. Klemke thus continues in the vein of the defense’s laughable thesis that Wohlleben and the “Thuringia Home Guard” had not been xenophobes after all – Wohlleben himself had already made reference to “ethnopluralist” videos and texts found on his computer (see the report of 28 April 2016).

Finally, the court read out several decisions rejecting motions for reconsideration by victims counsel of 2 June 2016, thus cementing its course of simply refusing to clear up the involvement of state agencies and/or further supporters of the NSU.