6 July 2016

Questions for accused Zschäpe.

Today the court first heard a federal criminal police detective who again testified on video recordings of TV broadcasts concerning the nail bomb attack in the Keupstraße in Cologne, recordings which had been made on the day of the attack. The result of her investigations is still that it was possible for these recordings to have been made in the Frühlingsstraße apartment – in which case they must have been made by Beate Zschäpe since Böhnhardt and Mundlos could not have made it back to Zwickau from Cologne in time to start the recordings. Of course, it is also possible that a supporter in Cologne or the surrounding area made these recordings.
The detective had also had another look at the videos with which the NSU claimed responsibility for its crimes and had found out that this video made use inter alia of a newspaper clipping on which Zschäpe’s fingerprints were found.

After her testimony, the presiding judge gave the parties the opportunity to pose questions for accused Zschäpe – an opportunity which was amply used. Over the course of several hours, it was chiefly victims’ counsel who asked question after question, with some also being posed by Carsten Schultze’s defense counsel and expert witness Prof. Dr. Saß. The questions concerned every topic from the relationships between Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt and their political ideology, via Zschäpe’s involvement in the NSU’s crimes and to her behavior after 4 November 2011 and in prison. Some questions also concerned contradictions in her previous statements in court – which had been prepared in writing by her defense counsel.

These questions show two things above all: first, that there still remain many many relevant questions which are still in need of being cleared up, and second, that Zschäpe’s statements so far have been obviously fabricated and full of gaps and internal contradictions.

The accused and her defense team only took note of the questions today and did not give a definite announcement as to whether they will answer these questions – when they first read out the written statement, they had announced that questions by victims’ counsel would not be answered at all. Counsel Borchert, who has not been assigned as counsel by the court, tried to use the situation to his advantage by stating that answering these questions would require many many meetings and thus take months – most likely he is hoping to thus achieve his goal of being assigned as counsel to Zschäpe, as has been requested by her several times.

What became clear today is that the statements read out on Zschäpe’s behalf by her counsel only served to fulfil her need to present herself in a positive light, but is far from painting a convincing or complete picture of her thirteen years of living together with Böhnhardt und Mundlos as members of the NSU.