21 December 2016

Still no expert opinion, but instead a senseless challenge for bias.

Those who had hoped that expert witness Prof. Dr. Saß would finally present his expert opinion today were in a for a disappointment: The court rejected yesterday’s motion of defense counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm as there was no reason to doubt Saß’ qualifications. Heer, Stahl and Sturm reacted by challenging all judges for alleged bias.

That challenge showed once more that it is problematic when members of the defense team don’t speak to each other: Heer, Stahl and Sturm presented their challenge without previously having talked to Zschäpe. However, a challenge for alleged bias may only be brought by the accused herself. Accordingly Zschäpe’s counsel of choice Borchert, having discussed the issue with Zschäpe during another break in the proceedings, announced that Zschäpe herself was challenging all judges, basing her challenge on the reasons given by Heer, Stahl and Sturm. The federal prosecutor reacted immediately by noting that this challenge was presented out of time, not having been brought immediately after the court’s decision.

The court did not decide on the question today, instead ending this farce and closing the trial for today some time after 3 pm. The trial will continue on 10 January.