17 November 2016

Further theatrics from the Wohlleben defense

Today the Wohlleben defense again paralyzed the proceedings, again by bringing a totally baseless challenge for alleged bias against the judges: the court had decided to continue the trial today instead of waiting until a decision on yesterday’s challenge had been reached – a totally unremarkable decision clearly foreseen in the code of criminal procedure. The defense now claims that the reasoning for that decision contains statements casting doubts on the impartiality of the judges. This claim is exactly as laughable as it sounds – today’s challenge, just like yesterday’s, is entirely without merit and will be rejected.

It is obvious that the defense is pursuing these challenges since it has realized that it has no chance of influencing the court’s verdict – the incriminating evidence against Wohlleben is simply too devastating, as clearly stated in the summaries of the evidence issued by both the Munich court and the Federal Court of Justice in the decisions prolonging Wohlleben’s detention. What is not entirely clear, however, is what exactly the defense is hoping to achieve with its current strategy: is it simply trying to prolong the trial? Or is its goal to aggravate the court until it makes mistakes the defense can challenge on appeal?

If the goal is the latter, the defense strategy does not seem to be working as evidenced by the entirely unexcited (but also somewhat leisurely) reactions of the court. On the other hand, the defense is very much successful in prolonging the trial – while amusingly continuing to invoke Wohlleben’s right to a speedy trial at every turn. Today, the only witness summoned had to wait until the late afternoon for his chance to testify. It was only after the federal prosecution had called upon the court not to grant the defense interruption after interruption in the absence of a clear need for such interruptions that defense counsel Schneiders announced that there was to be no third challenge this week, claiming that the defense was not after prolonging the trial.

The court could thus finally hear the witness, who had accompanied the witness who testified last week (see the report of 8 November 2016) and was also victim of the attack at the tram stop, as reported by accused Schultze. He confirmed the statement of last week’s witness.

After his testimony, accused Wohlleben asked for the floor and claimed that he had not been involved in the attack, which had occurred shortly after Böhnhardt, Mundlos and Zschäpe had gone underground, a time at which he had deliberately lain low. However, given the several witness statements, one can summarize that not only the attack itself, but also Wohlleben’s involvement therein have been proven.