10 January 2018

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. The scenes are spread out all over the city, the scene of the Şimşek murder is particularly far from both the city proper and the other crime scenes. In addition, only people who knew the locality could have known on which few days Şimşek would even be present at that scene. Other crimes scenes would have been similarly hard to find for non-locals – Abdurrahim Özüdoğru tailor’s shop was situated in a residential area and had only a very small sign with his name, and the outside of the pub “Sunshine” did not give any indication that its proprietor, who had recently taken over the pub, was of Turkish origin.

In addition, the known car rentals of the three who had gone underground would not have sufficed for the trips needed to scout out all locations. Similarly, the maps and notes found in the NSU apartment in the Frühlingsstraße show evidence of scouting carried out over a longer period of time. They also contain explanations how exactly certain objects can be reached, i.e. explanations for people who had not yet seen the location.

What’s more, with respect to the murder Ismail Yaşar – similarly to that of Mehmet Turgut in Rostock (see the closing statement of counsel Langer – there had been an attack on the victim’s kebab shop, by a well-known neo-Nazi who had been in contact with Mundlos as well as Holger Gerlach and Ralf Wohlleben. There were similar connections for other crime scenes – a neo-Nazi hailing from Gera lived next door to the „Sunshine“ for a period of time, and another neo-Nazi, member of Blood and Honour Franconia and in a relationship with NSU supporter Mandy Struck from Saxony, had stated in a police interview that he had twice bought flowers from Enver Şimşek.

After counsel Basay, Abdulkerim Şimşek, the son of Enver Şimşek, personally took the floor. He lost his father when he was thirteen years old. He described in chilling detail how he had last seen his father, severely injured, in the hospital. He related his fears caused by the suspicions voiced against his father by the police during the investigation.

“Even though I was certain that my father was not a criminal, I tried to keep his murder a secret. It sounds absurd, but I was relieved when I heard that my father had been killed by Nazis and that therefore his innocence had been proven. The hiding could finally end.“

The life of the family in broader society was over after the murder of his father and the police speculations on his alleged involvement in criminal activities. Adding to the severe financial difficulties of the family, these speculations led to a taboo which forced the family into isolation.

At the end of his moving statement, Abdulkerim Şimşek adressed the accused directly:

“I, too, would have had a number of questions to the accused. 

Why my father? How sick do you have to be to kill a human being with eight shots solely because of his place of birth or his skin color? What had my father ever done to you?

Can you even understand what it means for us that he was killed solely because he is a Turk?

Can you understand what it means to see one’s father in the NSU video, lying on the floor bleeding, and to know that he laid there for hours without any help?

At least one of the accused has helped clear up the facts and has offered an apology which I consider sincere. Mr. Schultze, we accept your apology.

I want for all others who are guilty of the murder of my father to be brought to justice and given severe sentences.“