Defense motion for reconsideration – the court will issue its decision
There was another very short trial session today: the Wohlleben defense took about five minutes to read out its short and unconvincing motion for reconsideration of yesterday’s court decision rejecting its motion for evidence, the prosecution needed a bit over an hour to prepare and read out its comments on that motion.
The presiding judge closed the trial session around 11:10 AM. The trial will continue tomorrow at 11:00 AM, likely with the court’s decision on the motion for reconsideration.
Court rejects the motion for evidence brought by the Wohlleben defense.
The court session today was again rather short. As expected, the court rejected the motion for evidence brought last week by the Wohlleben defense.
The defense was granted an hour for internal deliberations, after which they announced that they will bring a motion for reconsideration tomorrow. The presiding judge closed the trial session at around 11:30 AM.
Further delays due to the motion for evidence. No trial tomorrow.
Today the Wohlleben defense replied to the comments on their motion for evidence of [link] yesterday. It is not clear why the defense had needed additional time to prepare that reply, as it consisted largely of banalities, baseless speculations and the claim that the evidence taken in court had been insufficient to prove that Wohlleben and Schultze had procured the murder weapon – a claim which both the court in Munich and the Federal Court of Justice have roundly rejected in several decisions on Wohlleben’s continued detention.
The court did not decide on the motion today and will not do so tomorrow, either. Instead it has canceled the trial day tomorrow, the trial will continue next Tuesday, 30 January. If – as is to be expected – the court rejects the motion, it seems quite likely that the defense will react with another challenge for alleged bias, leading to another wasted trial week. Continue reading
Motion for evidence by the Wohlleben defense – desperate attempts to present alternative perpetrators
Today the Wohlleben defense, as announced last trial week, brought its motion for evidence, asking that Jug Puskaric and Sven Rosemann, both active in the neo-Nazi scene as well as the red-light milieu, be heard as witnesses and claiming that they would confirm that they, not Wohlleben and Schultze, had procured the Ceska murder weapon. Of course, it is hard to believe that the two named as witnesses will actually confirm this – and indeed there is nothing which points towards the veracity of the defense claims.
Accordingly, the federal prosecution moved that the defense motion be denied – its motion, however, was as verbose as it was devoid of actual subject-matter arguments, mostly focusing instead on formal arguments. Continue reading
No trial this week
The trial days this week have been canceled as one of the judges has fallen ill. The trial will continue on Tuesday, 23 January 2018.
No closing statements today.
No closing statements could be held today as the court once more had to deal with Ralf Wohlleben’s back pains. Wohlleben had been examined in the prison yesterday, today a medical expert was present (once again) to report on his state of health.
Wohlleben’s defense moved that this report be heard in closed session. That motion in itself would not be much to report on – after all, the details of Wohlleben’s back problems are indeed not of particular interest to the broader public. However, under the applicable legal provisions, it the court were to exclude the public for the duration of expert’s report, it would automatically have to do so as well for the (rest of the) closing statements. This rule has been laid down to protect victims of severe crimes from having details of their state of health broadcast to the public in closing statements – nonetheless, from its wording, it would also apply to the case at hand. Continue reading
Convincing and moving statements by Seda Basay and Abdulkerim Şimşek
The trial day began later and ended already around noon as accused Wohlleben once more complained of back pains and was examined by a doctor in the morning.
Counsel Basay first concluded the closing statement which she had begun yesterday. After a short section on the totally unbelievable statement of Beate Zschäpe, Basay dealt in detal with the question of local NSU supporters in Nuremberg.
The four crime scenes in Nuremberg – those of the murders of Enver Şimşek, Abdurrahim Özüdoğru and Ismail Yaşar and of the bombing attack on the pub “Sonnenschein” (“Sunshine”) – show quite clearly that the prosecution’s thesis that all scenes had been scouted out by Böhnhardt and Mundlos alone is implausible. Continue reading
Closing statements on the murder of Enver Şimşek begin
The trial day began with the closing statement of counsel Goldbach, who represents victims of the nail bomb attack in the Keupstraße. He began by speaking about his clients, their dashed hopes of fact-finding through the trial. He also stated that his clients, like others, had not allowed the NSU to force them out of Germany, are currently living normal and content lives here.
Goldbach than turned to the accused and showed why he believes that accused Wohlleben and Eminger are guilty of aiding and abetting the Keupstraße attack. Of course, none of this will be provable given the sloppy investigations not only before, but also after 2011.
Moving closing statements by victims’ counsel, and one question mark
Today’s closing statement by counsel Prof. Behnke, who represents a brother of Mehmet Turgut, killed by the NSU in Rostock, leaves us at a loss as to how to report on it: how to report on a statement calling for a “return” to the code of criminal procedure – but hardly mentioning any procedural arguments at all? How to answer a counsel who states that institutional racism does not exist in German administrative agencies, that claims to the contrary are the actual problem – and who obviously does not even understand what the term means, who talks about “structural racism” and claims that the term has been invented during the trial (on which claim see only wikipedia)? Continue reading
Closing statements on the murders in Rostock and Nuremberg
The first closing statement of the day could only start after an hours’ delay. Before that, the Wohlleben defense objected to the presiding judge’s reaction to earlier statements. They claimed that victims’ counsel Schön and Reinecke had both made statements on the penalties to be assessed to the accused and made motions in that regard, and that this was inadmissible and should have been stopped by the presiding judge. The prosecution asked for a four hour delay in order to comment on that objection in detail, a request which led to an embarrassing outburst from Zschäpe defense counsel Heer, who accused the presiding judge of strikingly partisan behavior favoring the prosecution as the defense was never given that much time – it should be noted that he held forth in this manner before the court had even decided on the requested delay. In fact, the delay did not occur as counsel Langer had announced that he would not make a statement on penalties in his closing statements. Continue reading