2 August 2016

Once more on Ralf Wohlleben’s ideology.

Two former detectives from the political division of the Jena criminal police who had investigated members of the “Comradeship Jena” and the Thuringia Home Guard had been summoned as witnesses today. Only one of them testified, however, as the other one was ill.

His testimony again turned into a tiring show by defense attorney Klemke after the witness had not testified the way the defense expected him to. Instead of stating that Wohlleben had not committed any xenophobic political acts, the witness reported that Wohlleben had from 1996 on organized the activities of the Nazi party NPD and the “Comradeships” in a way allowing him to remain in the background, and also gave examples of xenophobic acts. Accordingly, Klemke once again had to try to present the witness as unbelievable. And even thought the witness had not exactly presented as a raging leftie, stating that with “only 2 per cent foreigners”, Thuringia had not “shared the problems of Western Germany” and talking about the “NPD and other rightwing conservative parties”, Klemke nonetheless tried to present the witness as having been in favor of violence against the NPD. This senseless show took up a lot of time, meaning that the further procedural activities in the afternoon – the debate on the objections presented by Zschäpe’s assigned counsel as well as comments by the federal prosecution on the motions by victims’ counsel on Wohlleben’s ideology (on both issues see the report of [link] yesterday) – took place in an already rather tense atmosphere.

Victims’ counsel answered the objections to their questions in detail. Prosecutor Diemer added that, as Zschäpe was making the questioning difficult by insisting on question being asked in bulk, the court had to be somewhat generous in allowing such questions.

The prosecution requested that the motions by victims’ counsel on the national Socialist ideology, racism and militant xenophobia of accused Wohlleben be rejected – as Wohlleben’s political leanings and thus his motive for procuring the murder weapon had been sufficiently proven, there was no need for further evidence. The prosecution thus invited the court to once more present parts of the consideration of evidence in the judgment in advance in the form of a decision. Should the court follow this invitation, this would obviate the need for further motions concerning Wohlleben.

The trail will continue after courts holidays on the 31. August.