State negligence up to the level of collusion.
Today marked the beginning of the concluding statement by counsel Antonia von der Behrens, who represents the youngest son of Mehmet Kubaşık. Elif and Gamze Kubaşık had come to Munich once more to hear her statement.
Antonia von der Behrens first dealt with the extent of the knowledge the various domestic secret service agencies had about Mundlos, Böhnhardt, Zschäpe and the NSU from the early 1990s up to November of 2011, and with the size of the network surrounding the NSU from whom they could derive such knowledge.
First closing statements on the Keupstraße attack: “’Operation kebap skewer’ and ‘kebap killings’ go hand in hand, not only in words!”
Today’s closing statements concerned the nail bomb attack on the Keupstraße in Cologne and the police investigation of that attack, referred to as the “bomb after the bomb” by Keupstraße victims.
Counsel Stephan Kuhn began by detailing the murderous effects of the bomb, turning then to the investigations, which from the very beginning were directed against the bombing victims in the Keupstraße. He also detailed that this orientation of the investigations was counter not only to the many explicit statements by victims that the attack must have been committed by Nazis or other xenophobes, but also against all known evidence and the results of a profiler’s findings. Continue reading
Further closing statements by victims’ counsel: on the NSU’s political context.
Victim’s counsel Dr. Peer Stolle, in his closing statement held today, argued against the tendency of those involved in the NSU trial to uncouple and divorce it from its context, the historical developments during the time in which the organization arose and grew, and the Nazi scene in Thuringia and Germany. He announced:
„I will first call to mind the situation of the broader society in the early 1990s, will then briefly consider cornerstones of the biographies of the deceased Mundlos and Böhnhardt and the accused, will trace the development of the extreme rightwing scene in Thuringia, its ideology and its concepts of action and will thus show that the NSU was not a murderous project of a few individuals who were cut off from the scene, but rather the logical product of the concepts discussed within that scene.” Continue reading
Further closing statements by victims’ counsel. Gamze Kubaşik adresses Zschäpe
The defense motion for the replacement of prosecutor Weingarten was dismissed – nothing else had been expected. The closing statements of the Kubaşik family and their counsel could thus continue.
Counsel Carsten Ilius began by detailing why it is so unbelievable and unjustifiable that the police did not investigate the possible involvement of the Nazi scene in Dortmund – after all, Dortmund had a large, well-connected and extremely militant Nazi scene surrounding “Blood & Honour” and “Combat 18”, and there were several indicators that persons from that scene had been involved in the preparation of the murder. Motions for evidence by victims’ counsel on these issues have all been rejected.
Further sabotage by the defense – but also impressive and moving closing statements.
Today Mehmet Daimagüler concluded his closing statement on behalf of the next of kin of Abdurrahim Özudoğru and Ismail Yaşar. He was followed by Elif Kubaşık, widow of Mehmet Kubaşık, and her counsel Carsten Ilius. Their closing statements marked the beginning of a “block” of interconnected closing statements (which our own closing statements will also form part of).
The defense tried once more to interrupt the closing statements – largely based on the same unconvincing arguments which the court had already rejected last week. They were unsuccessful. It has become apparent that the defense is attempting to sabotage the closing statements of victims and their counsel and to draw attention away from their important and moving content. In order to combat such attempts, we will not deal further with them and instead focus on the closing statements. Continue reading
„You will not silence these voices” – meritless objections by the Zschäpe defense remain unsuccessful.
Zschäpe defense counsel Sturm, Stahl and Heer today continued their sabotage tactics begun yesterday, once more without any success. Their relentless interruptions did lead to a delay of several hours before Dr. Mehmet Daimagüler, counsel for the families of murder victims Ismail Yaşar and Abdurrahim Özüdoğru, could continue his closing statement. Daimagüler was, however, able to finish his statement, largely without further interruptions, in the early afternoon.
Sturm, Stahl and Heer claimed that the closing statement consisted of a “political address, which may in parts be justified, but not in this courtroom”. Continue reading
Victims’ counsel closing statements begin – and are immediately interrupted by meritless defense objections.
Most observers had thought it likely that the defense would continue with its stalling tactics today. At first, it seemed like such fears would come true as the Zschäpe defense counsel once more logged a motion for reconsideration concerning the information on legal characterizations provided by the court last week, claiming it to be insufficient. Many were surprised that, after this motion was denied, victims and their counsel could actually begin with their closing statements, the first of which was held by Edith Lunnebach, counsel for the victims of the Probsteigasse bombing.
Verbatim records (in German) of the prosecution closing statements now complete.
This blog contains records of the prosecution closing statements. These records – not always verbatim, but as close to verbatim records as was possible – have been complied by us together with several other victims’ counsel, many thanks to all those who participated. Of course, we cannot guarantee that these records are 100 % correct or complete. We do believe, however, that they do not contain any errors distorting their content. To the extent possible, we have marked unclear passages, omissions and the like. We have abbreviated certain names where we felt that the names of certain witnesses were not of relevance for an understanding of the closing statement as a whole.
These minutes will not be translated into English – the following links go to the original German versions of the records:
First day – 25 July 2017
Second Day – 26 July 2017
Third Day – 27 July 2017
Fourth Day – 31 July 2017
Fifth Day – 1 August 2017
Sixth Day – 31 August 2017
Seventh Day – 1 September 2017
Eighth Day – 12 September 2017
Still no closing statements
Today, the court again held only a short trial session. The closing statements by victims and their counsel could still not begin. The court first denied the motion for evidence concerning the landlord of the garage in Jena (see the report of 25 October 2017) as it held that the facts mentioned therein, if found, would not have an influence on its decision.
The trial was then again concerned with the information given to Zschäpe by the court a few weeks ago concerning the legal qualification of the charges. This concerned inter alia the question whether each case of Zschäpe’s involvement in the NSU’s individual crimes of murder and robbery also constituted one charge of membership in a terrorist organization, or whether they formed, in that regard, one continuous crime of membership – a rather formal question which will not influence the sentence passed out in the end. The defense is now using this aspect also to delay the trial – Zschäpe defense counsel had moved for further information on these issues during the last trial week, when given that information today, they stated that they wished to “react”, but were unable to do so before next week. The presiding judge ended the trial session shortly after 11 am.
The trial will continue next Wednesday, 15 November 2017.