10 January 2017

Oral expert opinion further delayed. And: Zschäpe reacts to the written expert opinion

On today’s first trial day after the Christmas break, the court had planned, after the rather short testimony of a police officer, to hear the oral expert opinion of psychiatrist Prof. Saß. However, the Zschäpe defense continued its fight against his opinion, on different levels: assigned counsel Stahl, Sturm and Heer brought voluminous motions asking the court to produce audio recordings of the opinion and to guide the expert extensively as to methods and to the facts used as basis for his opinion. Counsel Borchert and Grasel meanwhile read out another statement of Zschäpe’s, apparently attempting to counter some aspects contained in Saß’ preliminary written opinion.

In that statement, Zschäpe again tries to assert the truthfulness of her earlier statements and to combat the picture, arising out of the evidence heard in court, of a manipulative, empathy-less person who took part in the NSU crimes. Zschäpe now claims that it was only based on briefings by her assigned counsel that she had shown no feelings in court as those would “be misinterpreted willingly or unwillingly by the public and some victims’ counsel”. She also claimed that she had already learned in her time underground not to show her feelings.

However, the only times that concrete emotions are even referred to in this eight-page statement is when they concern Zschäpe herself – such as her statement that on the first trial day, she had felt “left alone” by her defense counsel and therefore “disoriented”, that turning her back to the press had made her feel more secure. Whenever Zschäpe refers to emotions in relation to third persons, she resorts to trite banalities. Referring murder victim Halit Yozgat’s mother and her very emotionale “appeal from woman to woman” (see our report of 2 October 2013), Zschäpe  claims that she was still thinking of that appeal, which she had been unable to answer back then. What exactly Zschäpe claims to have felt in that situation is not explained at all – nor does she bother to explain why she still refuses to answer Ayse Yozgat’s questions to this day.

Thus, Zschäpe is now trying to put the blame for her public appearance throughout the trial on her assigned counsel, following the same logic according to which she tried to put the blame for the NSU’s crimes solely on Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos. Zschäpe describes herself only as a victim – of the Uwes, of her counsel, of the mean victims’ counsel and of the press – and thus still refuses to take any responsibility for her acts.