26 April 2017

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. On the other side, federal prosecutor Diemer presumed to tell the defense that when the prosecution was presenting its arguments, the defense was to sit still and listen and not interrupt.

In the end, the parties had to wait for over four hours for the prosecution to type out its handwritten notes and for the Zschäpe defense to read them and to present a response.

The court did not yet decide on the motion, instead ending the trial day at 4.45 PM. The presiding judge has, however, that the court is leaning towards the prosecution’s point of view – small wonder given that Faustmann’s “critique of methodology, a copy of which the defense has provided to the parties, consists of a list of formal criticisms of details which in no way call into question Saß’ expert opinion.

The court will likely pronounce its decision at the beginning of the trial day tomorrow.