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. Above all, he asked Saß to detail the factual observations on which he had based his opinion. Saß spent about two hours detailing his observations of how Zschäpe had acted in court, thus at the same time presenting a condensed procedural history of the trial. As Saß will not be available next week, his questioning will be continued on Tuesday, 7 February.

Victims’ counsel brought a motion for evidence concerning the search of the garage on 26 January 1998, the day Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt went underground. Zschäpe had claimed that Böhnhardt had told her to “burn it”, but that she had refrained from doing so in order not to endanger nearby civilians. In reality, by the time Zschäpe could have arrived there, a number of police officers and others had been present at the garage – another aspect which shows her statement to be totally unbelievable.

Next week, the trial will only be held on Tuesday.

Also announced today were further trial dates until January 2018 – however, even though the trial is moving forward rather sluggishly at the moment, it is more than unlikely that these trial will actually be needed. It seems that they were rather announced out of an abundance of caution.