21 February 2017

Zschäpe defense continues to stall – court helps them along

The first topic today was the motion for evidence, announced several times by the Zschäpe defense, concerning her behavior in detention. Counsel Grasel surprised everyone by announcing that the motion was still not finished and pronouncing himself unable to promise whether it would be finished this week. Now, the court has summoned expert witness Prof. Saß for tomorrow and Thursday so that he can comment on the testimony of the witness (likely stating that it does not change his conclusion in any way, see the report of 14/15 February 2017).

The court therefore took the initiative and announced that it had summoned the head of the detention unit in Stadelheim as a witness for tomorrow. It seems quite possible that the defense will not bring its motion after all or, if it does, that the court will reject it as it is unlikely to reveal additional information.

Today the court also heard the report by the court representative for juvenile offenders. In cases of accused who were 18 to 20 years old at the time of the alleged offence, such as accused Schultze in this trial, this office is tasked with proposing whether they should be sentenced as minors or as adults. In line with the opinion of psychiatrist Prof. Leygraf, the representative proposed that Schultze be sentenced as a minor, basing his opinion on delays in Schultze’s development – as evidenced by the fact later, after having come out as gay and quit the Nazi scene, there were significant further developments in Schultze’s life and personality. The final decision on this issue is up to the court.

Tomorrow and Thursday, the court will hear the witness from the detention unit as well as expert witness Prof. Saß.