1 August 2017

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. Schultze, who was a bit younger, did not know the members of the NSU core trio as well as Wohlleben, but Böhnhardt and Mundlos had told him so much about their earlier violent crimes (bombing of a restaurant in Nuremberg, shooting of a person) prior to his handing over the gun that he too knew exactly how dangerous were the men whom he provided with a silenced pistol.

Thus the prosecution will also move for a conviction on all counts with respect to these two accused – and this aspect of their concluding statement is shared by victims’ counsel.

After the summer break, on 31 August and 1 September, Weingarten will turn to accused Gerlach and Eminger. It is to be expected that the prosecution’s closing statement will take up another 3 trial days, accordingly victims’ counsel will only be able to begin their statements in mid-September.