The trial day began at 1 pm today as the presiding judge had a doctor’s appointment in the morning. The trial session began with an announcement that the last remaining challenges for alleges bias by the Eminger defense had been rejected in the meantime. The defense reacted surprised and somewhat indignant and made several motions for breaks in the session – these including a motion for the trial to be interrupted “until tomorrow morning” so that accused Eminger could read today’s decisions on the challenges in prison, claiming that he was unable to do so in the court building. The presiding judge finally closed the trial for today around 4 pm.
Before that, the court had quickly re-entered the evidence phase of the trial and read out a report on the search conducted on 30 November 2011 of the premises of Maik Eminger, where André Eminger was also staying at the time. Under his bed, the police had found a plastic bag containing € 3835 in cash, consisting of many 5 € notes and a few 200 € and 500 € notes – a combination one seldom sees in everyday live, but which may, e.g., be found in the loot of bank robberies.
Whether the episode of the Eminger defense’s ever more absurd challenges for alleged bias has now come to an end and the closing statements of victims and their counsel can begin tomorrow, or whether the defense will bring another challenge tomorrow morning, remains to be seen. We will not go into detail on the subject matter of the various challenges here as we share the view presented by our colleague Eberhard Reinecke: none of these challenges comes even close to being well-founded, instead this is simply a last-ditch effort by the defense, which has let the last four and a half years of trial proceedings pass it by, to delay and maybe even derail the trial process.
This attempt will not be successful. Nonetheless, for victims’ counsel – and above all for victims themselves, who have been waiting for many weeks now for a chance to present their views on the NSU complex in closing, the current situation is hard to bear.