The “critique of methodology” presented by expert witness Prof. Faustmann
The heated discussions of the last days about whether expert witness Prof. Faustmann, who had been summoned by Zschäpe’s assigned counsel, would be heard or not, discussions which led to many speculations, turned out to be a tempest in a teapot. This morning, presiding judge Götzl did not reference these discussions at all, instead simply asking Prof. Faustmann to take the witness stand and present his expert opinion.
Faustmann then read out his opinion, which had already been passed out to the parties with the defense motion on Tuesday. He was not asked questions on his opinion today, instead the presiding judge notified the parties that Prof. Faustmann would be summoned again for 16 May so that questions may be asked then.
Wrangling over the defense expert
At the start of the trial day, the court heard the prosecution’s response to the defense motion for the court to hear their expert witness Prof. Faustmann. They asked that the motion be denied since the “critique of methodology” presented by Faustmann did not raise any doubts concerning the competence of expert witness Prof. Saß or concerning the reliability of his expert opinion.
This was followed by a lengthy discussion in which neither Zschäpe’s defense counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm nor the federal prosecution left a positive impression: defense counsel wanted a written copy of the prosecution response since they had not been able to follow it – as they had similarly been unable a number of times earlier, and in contrast to the court and other parties who had been able to follow the prosecution’s arguments. Continue reading
“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). Continue reading
The program for today was limited to comments on earlier motions as well as two new motions for evidence brought by the Wohlleben defense. Accordingly, the trial day ended already at 11.20 A.M.
There will be a trial break over Easter, the next trial day is on Tuesday, 25 April 2017. 26 and 27 April will likely be spent hearing the expert witness summoned by Zschäpe defense counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm.
Once more on secret service officer Temme
The challenge for alleged bias brought by the Wohlleben defense was rejected as unfounded, as was to be expected.
Psychiatrists Prof. Bauer and Prof. Saß, whom the court had planned to hear tomorrow (Bauer as a witness on what Zschäpe had told him in their conversations in detention, Saß as an expert witness on what this meant for her mental state), will not testify tomorrow after all: Zschäpe defense counsel Grasel had informed the court that his client will not waive doctor-patient privilege if Bauer is summoned as a witness and not as an expert witness. The defense has now summoned Bauer itself, rather than moving for the court to summon him, for 3 and 4 May – this procedural step likely means that the court will, under the code of criminal procedure, have no choice but to hear him as an expert witness. Continue reading