Concluding statement of the federal prosecution, day 5: more on the Ceska and on Wohlleben and Schultze
Prosecutor Weingarten concluded his statement on accused Wohlleben and Schultze today. He showed that Wohlleben was the one responsible for coordinating the activities of all supporters, not only in general, but also with regard to the Ceska pistol, and that Schultze, as he himself had admitted, was also directly involved in the procurement of the pistol.
Weingarten then turned to the mens rea, i.e. to proving that Wohlleben and Schultze realized that there was at least a distinct possibility that Böhnhardt, Mundlos and Zschäpe would commit murders with the pistol. With respect to Wohlleben, this is proved by the fact that he knew of the National Socialist ideology and propensity for violence of the NSU core trio, inter alia from debates in their group “Comradeship Jena” concerning “armed struggle”, as well as by the fact that he himself – contrary to his attempts to present himself as an “ethnopluralist” pacifist – had shared that National Socialist ideology. Continue reading
Concluding statements of the federal prosecution, day 4: on Wohlleben and Schultze and on the Ceska murder weapon
The prosecution had originally announced that prosecutor Greger was to hold her statement on the fifteen brutal robberies committed by the NSU today. However, this was postponed, instead her colleague Weingarten began his concluding statement on accused Wohlleben, Schultze, Gerlach and Eminger. He announced that he would be able to deal only with Wohlleben and Schultze and the procurement of the Ceska murder weapon this weeks and would deal with Gerlach and Eminger after the summer break. All accused, regardless of how active or inactive their defense counsel had been in the trial and of how much interest the press showed in them, would receive the same amount of attention from the prosecution – a clear signal towards accused Gerlach and Eminger. Continue reading
Prosecution closing statement, day 3 – central attack on the interests of the victims and their representatives in the trial.
On the third day of the prosecution’s closing statement, prosecutor Greger continued to explain why accused Zschäpe is to be punished as a co-perpetrator of the NSU’s crimes, but only partially fulfilled the standards she had set for herself. As to the political background of the crimes, she referred to short statements in the “NSU letter” as well as several precursors to the video in which the NSU claimed responsibility for its crimes. One such statement was that “we, the NSU, will not gain attention with many words, but with deeds. As long as there are no far-ranging changes in the press, political institutions and with respect to freedom of speech, we will continue with our actions.” However, as the prosecution is proceeding from the assumption that the NSU as an isolated was not influenced by others at all, it could not convincingly portray the group’s ideology, its origins and its developments. Continue reading
Prosecution closing statement, day 2 – continued attempts to reframe the NSU.
And: transcripts of the closing statement will continue.
Prosecutor Greger continued her closing statement today. Today she mostly focuses on proving, based on many small details, that Beate Zschäpe had played such a central role in the trio with Böhnhardt and Mundlos that she can be convicted as co-perpetrator of all NSU crimes, which would have been impossible without her involvement. In great detail, Greger presented Zschäpe’s involvement in renting apartments, upholding the ordinary façade vis-à-vis neighbors, providing mobile phones and SIM cards, renting cars and interacting with supporters.
Federal prosecution’s closing statement: for that which must not, cannot be.
And: full transcript of today’s statement to be published here
The trial day began as expected and then rather unexpectedly saw the start of the prosecution’s closing statement. The court first pronounced its decision denying the repeated defense motions that the closing statement be recorded. The defense requested an extended break, but did not in fact bring any further motions after the break. It seems that they shied away from another obviously meritless challenge for alleged bias, which also would have rendered them unable to use the summer break to prepare they answer to the prosecution’s statement.