14 and 15 February 2017

Questioning of Prof. Saß still not fully finished

The questioning of expert witness Prof. Saß by Zschäpe’s various defense attorneys took up all day on Tuesday. Counsel Stahl tried and failed to attack the expert’s methodology as non-scientific. Counsel Sturm asked Saß why had failed to ask questions to Zschäpe using the court as an intermediary – a quite presumptuous question given that Zschäpe had refused to talk to Saß in person or to answer any of his questions. Saß accordingly stated that having his questions answered in writing by counsel, as was done with regard to the court’s questions, was without any value for his expert opinion.

Counsel Borchert and Grasel also attempted to question Saß. Borchert’s questions torpedoed some of what the assigned counsel had attempted to build up. He asked Saß for his opinion on the expert opinion by Prof. Nedopil, who had examined Zschäpe at the height of her fight with her assigned counsel. Nedopil’s opinion had so far not been made part of the case file to protect Zschäpe’s personal rights – after Borchert had read out parts of the opinion in court, copies of it were passed out to all parties in the trial. In the end, Nedopil’s opinion confirmed Saß’ evaluation of Zschäpe as someone who had taken a very active and controlling role vis-à-vis her defense counsel. Thus Zschäpe’s self-representation as a weak woman who had only done as she had been told first by Mundlos and Böhnhardt, later by her counsel, was once again massively called into question.

Borchert announced that he would present a motion for evidence on Wednesday to show that there had been no complaints concerning Zschäpe’s behavior in detention.
On Wednesday, the defense counsel did not have any questions for the expert witness. As concerns the motion for evidence, Borchert announced that it would only be brought next week. Upon questions by victim’s counsel Scharmer, Saß already announced that if Zschäpe’s behavior in detention had in fact not led to any complaints, this would have to be seen in connection with her established ability, gained in years of living underground, of behaving in a very inconspicuous manner.

The court then read out documents concerning the search, on 26 January 1998, of the garage containing the bomb workshop. Six cigarette butts found therein contained DNA material which very likely came from Zschäpe – clearly showing that she had been in the bomb workshop before.

The court also rejected further motions for evidence, including the Nazi propaganda motion presented by the Wohlleben defense on 25 January 2017.

Tomorrow, the trial will begin at 11.30, two hours later than usual.