Last steps before the end of the taking of evidence.
Beate Zschäpe’s mother again refused to testify in court, but gave her consent that her earlier police statement from 2011 be considered by the court. This statement was then introduced by one of the police officers who had interviewed her. It contained above all information on Zschäpe’s childhood and youth and on the rift between mother and daughter – one important reason for which, the witness had told the police, had been Beate Zschäpe’s political ideology.
Victims’ counsel for the Yozgat family brought a challenge for bias against defense expert Prof. Bauer – Bauer had topped his embarrassing appearance in court (see our report of 18 May 2017) with an email to German daily “Die Welt”: reacting to the critical reports on his testimony, he had sent the newspaper his expert opinion and had complained about a “burning of witches” being conducted against Zschäpe. There is no need for further comment, Bauer’s derailment speaks for itself. Defense counsel Heer seemed rather amused by the challenge against the other defense counsels’ expert.
The Wohlleben defense, meanwhile, brought a motion for evidence tying in to a diagnosis Bauer had made “in passing” on Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos: Bauer had claimed that both had without a doubt been severely psychopathic perpetrators. Picking up this depoliticization of the NSU’s racist series of murders, the defense moved that a psychiatric expert be heard to prove that the two men had suffered from a psychopathic personality disorder and that this had not been visible for third persons as psychopaths are capable of manipulative behavior to disguise their disorder. This motion will remain without success.
The federal prosecution responded to the motions for evidence of last week. The head of the prosecution team Dr. Diemer himself responded to the victims’ counsel motion concerning Stefan Lange (see the report of 17 May 2017) and used the opportunity to whitewash the German secret services: he claimed that there was no reason to believe that the secret services had ever failed to pass on information to the police – quite to the contrary, he went on, information provided by these services had significantly furthered the trial in Munich. This statement obviously results from the self-image of the federal prosecution as a political office tasked above all with protecting the state and its agencies. Anyone who has followed the developments concerning the NSU complex in the last few years – the destruction of case files, the scandalous appearances by contact officers in court, the sheer number of informers in the Nazi scene surrounding the NSU core trio – can see that his statement his nothing but propaganda.
The court then considered how to deal with the critique of methodology presented by Prof Faustmann and the response announced by Prof. Saß. It decided – contrary to a defense motion – not to summon Faustmann for next Tuesday, the day on which Saß will present his response.
As to what will happen on the other two trial days next week, the presiding judge refused any comment. It seems unlikely that the court will be able to finish the taking of evidence by next week – inter alia, it will have to deal with a number of motions for evidence and will have to again consider the personal details of the accused. This last aspect will likely include a recent judgment (which is not yet final) of the Local Court in Chemnitz which last week convicted him of criminal assault and coercion for beating and kicking a teenager in Chemnitz.