20 September 2016

Another witness with memory problems, more on the sensory problems of secret service officer Temme, and more questions for Zschäpe by the court.

Today the court first heard another witness concerning an attack on two victims committed by several Neonazis in Jena in the late 1990s – this attack had been reported on by accused Schultze (see the reports of 21 July 2016 and 1 September 2016). This witness, like those before him, did not remember the incident, but also did not exclude that it had taken place – there had simply been too many such attacks involving him, and he had also drunk a lot of alcohol back then. Thus Schultze’s statement has again been neither bolstered nor disproven, the attempt by the Wohlleben defense to present Schultze as unreliable has once again failed.

Victims’ counsel for the Yozgat family brought another motion for evidence concerning secret service officer Temme, who had been present at the scene of the murder of Halit Yozgat in Kassel, but had claimed not to have noticed anything. The court had recently stated that it believes Temme’s claims, thus trying to close this line of questioning (see the report of 12 July 2016). Counsel now moved that an expert witness be heard to show that the fatal shots were loud enough that Temme must have heard them. Counsel Dierbach and Bliwier had experimented on themselves by visiting a shooting range and listening to shots fired from a similar gun – which they found impossible to overhear even through a closed door.

Finally, the court asked Beate Zschäpe several questions – some questions concerning her relationship with Böhnhardt and Mundlos, some questions for clarification concerning Zschäpe’s statements so far. Whether these are all the questions the court wishes to ask or whether it will have additional ones, including more questions originally posed by victims’ counsel, remains to be seen. Defense counsel Grasel announced that these questions will again by answered in writing.

The further discussion concerning a letter sent by Zschäpe, which victims’ counsel had moved to have read out last week (see the report of 14 September 2016), was pushed to tomorrow. What is interesting is that the court announced that it was considering to formally seize the letter as evidence – which tends to show that it too sees the relevance of Zschäpe’s self-presentation in the letter.