Monthly Archives: January 2017

31 January 2017

The court enters further documents into evidence, and it continues its strategy of denying all further elucidation of facts surrounding the NSU.

Today the court read out several documents contained in the case file. These included a short memo authored by a policeman who, in the summer of 1997, had seen Beate Zschäpe on the way to a meeting at the compound of Neo-Nazi and attorney Jürgen Rieger in Hetendorf.

Another document read out was a list, compiled after victims counsels’ motions on the possible scouting out of the synagogue in Berlin by members of the NSU (see the report of 26 October 2016), of Jewish institutions contained in the collection of addresses compiled by the NSU. This list contains more than 200 addresses of Jewish institutions. Given the well-known anti-Semitism of the NSU’s members, this is another document which tends to show that the NSU had made at least general plans to commit attacks against Jewish institutions, even if, according to what is known, such plans were not in fact carried out. Continue reading

26 January 2017

Further questioning of expert witness Prof. Dr. Saß

Today the court first heard another police officer from Jena. This witness seemed a bit more awake than his colleagues who had testified earlier this week, but had only been with the political division of the criminal police for a short time and was thus unable to say much about Wohlleben’s ideology and activities. Interestingly, he reported that Wohlleben had been “a matter for the boss” and that investigations concerning Wohlleben had only been conducted by the head of the division.

The court then continued the questioning of expert witness Prof. Dr. Saß. As the Zschäpe defense did not have further questions at the moment, the presiding judge asked further questions. Continue reading

25.01.2017 Press release

Wohlleben defense once more conducts Nazi propaganda in the NSU trial in Munich – racist motion by counsel Klemke concerning a „danger of the death of the Volk“

Olaf Klemke, defense counsel of accused Ralf Wohlleben in the NSU trial in Munich, today brought a motion which aims to “prove” the neo-Nazi claim of a danger of the “death of the Volk”. The motion, co-signed by co-counsel Nicole Schneiders and Wolfram Nahrath, claims that anybody could “speak of the ‘danger of the death of the Volk’” since inter alia the “mass immigration of non-Germans” leads to “the German Volk in its current identity becoming a minority vis-à-vis non-Germans” – the motion continues: “if these developments continue and are not stopped.” Continue reading

25 January 2017

The political criminal police in Jena: “he is here to makes sure nothing happens to us.” And: racist motion by the Wohlleben defense

The trial day began with the testimony of another police officer from Jena, asked to testify on accused Wohlleben’s ideology as well as activities by Wohlleben and the Nazi-“comradeship Jena” concerning “foreigners”. Again, the officer was unable to report anything important – very few questions by victims’ counsel were enough to show why he and his colleagues in Jena only had knowledge “assaults left wing – right ring and propaganda offences”: Asked whether he had any knowledge of bands at the concerts organized by Wohlleben performing songs with racist lyrics, the witness answered that he had not. Further asked whether the lyrics had been checked for illegal content, he replied that this had “not been usual back then”. Continue reading

25 April 2017

“The accused could not have foreseen such a course of events”

Today the court first heard the prosecution’s response to the motions for evidence brought by the Wohlleben defence in the week before the Easter break. Also discussed was the announcement by victims’ counsel for the Yozgat family to summon an expert witness on what secret service officer Temme must have observed of the murder of Halit Yozgat (see the report of 5 April 2017). The federal prosecutors had stated their opinion that victims’ counsel generally did not have a right to summon expert witnesses themselves, victims’ counsel had replied in detail. The court has not yet made a determination on this issue.

The court rejected further motions for evidence brought by victims’ counsel, above all the motion concerning state responsibility for the “attack after the attack”, the investigations and publicly voiced suspicions against the victims of the NSU bombing attack in the Keupstraße in Cologne (see the report of 7 March 2017). Interestingly, the decision can be read as showing that the court agreed with the applicants’ contention that the state was responsible for this “attack after the attack”: “It cannot be assumed that several German state agencies, partly against better judgment, do not consider findings in their investigations and statements and rather inflict further damage on the victims of the attack through their actions, partly against their own better knowledge. The accused [if convicted] could not have foreseen such a course of events.”

The court also rejected conspiracy theory-motions by the Wohlleben defense concerning the alleged presence of FBI agents or other persons near the scene of the murder of Michèle Kiesewetter in Heilbronn (see the report of 9 March 2017).

The court then gave parties a deadline for further motions for evidence until Wednesday, 17 May 2017.

Zschäpe’s original counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm made a motion for the court to hear expert witness Prof. Faustmann, who they had summoned themselves, tomorrow on the issue of alleged shortcomings in the expert opinion of Prof. Saß. However, the so-called shortcomings in Saß’ opinion mainly concern incidental formal aspects, therefore it is not likely that Faustmann’s statements tomorrow will cause Saß much grief.

19 January 2017

Another day which did not move the trial forward in any way.

Today the court had once again summoned expert witness Prof. Leygraf (see the report of 11 January 2017). Based on a motion by the Wohlleben defense, the presiding judge spent about two hours summarizing for Leygraf the statements by accused and witnesses in court on Carsten Schultze and on the crimes he is charged with. The Wohlleben defense stated that it was planning to add to the information given to the expert, but needed additional time to prepare. Accordingly Leygraf will have to come to Munich again next week.

It cannot be claimed that this trial day has moved the trial forward in any way – above all since the statements by accused and witnesses on Schultze conformed very largely to the information Leygraf had already based his report on. It seems that the expert shared this assessment as he made hardly any notes of what he was told. Continue reading

18 January 2017

Prof. Saß continues presenting his expert opinion

The further presentation of the expert opinion by Prof. Saß was delayed once more, again due to motions for reconsideration by Zschäpe’s assigned counsel. However, the expert witness was able to continue after the lunch break.

In addition to the facts he had presented yesterday, he stressed Zschäpe’s ability to conduct camouflage and to convcingly portray alias roles.

In conclusion, he found that Zschäpe’s personality contained dissocial or antisocial, as well as histrionic tendencies, but that there was nothing pointing towards a psychiatric disorder which could call into doubt Zschäpe’s competency.  Continue reading

17 January 2017

Beginning of Prof. Saß’ expert opinion – „egocentric, lacking empathy, externalizing responsibility”

After the many delays during the last trial days, the plan was that expert witness Prof. Saß would finally give his expert opinion this week. Zschäpe’s assigned counsel – today only counsel Sturm and Heer – brought about a final delay by way of a motion for reconsideration against a court decision. After the lunch break, the expert was finally able to begin giving his oral opinion.

Today, Prof. Saß, one of the most renowned forensic psychiatrists in Germany, reported above all on the relevant findings arising from the court proceedings. Continue reading

12 January 2017

Instructing, recording, handing out copies – expert opinion on Zschäpe delayed once more

The entire trial day was wasted on the attempts by Zschäpe’s assigned counsel to further delay the oral expert opinion by psychiatrist Prof. Saß.

Defense counsel first replied to the federal prosecution’s comments of yesterday on their motions. The presiding judge then proceeded to give very general instructions to the expert witness – e.g. instructing him to differentiate clearly between subjective opinions and objective facts. Faced with a motion to hand out a paper copy of his instructions, he refused, but offered to read them out more slowly – a rather peculiar handling of the situation in a case in which every last note to parties is handed out in paper form.  Continue reading

11 January 2017

Another failed attempt by the Wohlleben defense. And: Oral expert opinion by Prof. Saß delayed once more.

Today the court once again heard expert witness Prof. Leygraf, who had submitted an opinion on accused Carsten Schultze. Leygraf’s previous opinion had concerned the question whether Schultze, who was 19-20 years old at the time of his crimes, should be tried as a minor or as an adult. Today, the court had questions on another issue: the Wohlleben defense, trying to call into question Schultze’s statements which massively incriminate Wohlleben, had claimed that Schultze suffered from various mental illnesses. As Leygraf had conducted an in-depth exploration of Schultze, he was questioned concerning those issues. Leygraf saw no indication at all that Schultze was suffering from a mental illness and did not waver in the face of somewhat inept questions by the Wohlleben defense.  Continue reading