Short trial day today – trial to continue on 8 or 13 March.
Today the court asked for comments by parties on the defense motions of yesterday.
Unsurprisingly, prosecutor Greger moved that the motion for evidence brought by the Wohlleben defense be rejected, and did not pull any punches: there was no call to hear Rosemann’s testimony as “the court is not called upon to deal with factual claims that have clearly been simply invented” by the moving party. There is no need to say more on this motion, which is very likely to be rejected by the court.
As to the motion by Zschäpe counsel Heer, Stahl and Sturm to be relieved as assigned counsel, the prosecution once more moved that it be rejected. Finally, as to the decision to move the question of forfeiture of assets to separate proceedings, they proposed that this simply be amended so as to also include the accused Schultze. Continue reading
More meritless motions by the defense likely to lead to further delays.
Today the court first read out two documents concerning the passports which Holger Gerlach had provided to Böhnhardt, Mundlos and Zschäpe.
The court then decided to consider the question of the forfeiture of money likely deriving from bank robberies in a separate procedure: Deciding on this question in the judgment would lead to further delays as a decision on the money found in the Frühlingsstraße apartment and the caravan in Eisenach would affect not only Zschäpe, but also Böhnhardt and Mundlos and their heirs and as the latter would thus have to be heard. A decision on the money which, according to the indictment, had been given to Wohlleben and Gerlach and on the money found in the possession of André Eminger, meanwhile, also concerns Zschäpe and thus could only be reached after the first decision. The court will now decide on these questions in written proceedings separate from the trial and judgment. Continue reading
No trial days this week
Today, the court had planned to decide the procedural question whether the question of forfeiture of moneys likely arising from the robberies will be decided in the judgment or via a separate procedure.
However, even this very minor question could not be decided today – instead parties were told that all trial days this week are cancelled due to illness of Zschäpe’s defense counsel Grasel.
The trial will continue on 27 February 2018.
Moving closing statements and somewhat arduous attempts to plan the defense statements
It would have been nice if the last trial day before the Winter break had consisted only of the closing statements of counsel Serkan Alkan, of Yvonne Boulgarides and of counsel Yavuz Narin. After all, these statements were an impressive and often moving end to this part of the trial, in which the victims of the NSU were able to raise their voices either in person or via their counsel.
However, the end of the trial day was taken up by planning the defense closing statements, a process which proved somewhat arduous. To quickly recap the results: the court will decide on formal questions concerning the forfeiture of moneys gained by the robberies on 20 February 2018. After that there will be a long break, the statement of Zschäpe defense counsel Grasel and Borchert will begin on 13 March and will again be followed by a break of probably one week. Continue reading
Final statements of victims and their counsel likely to be held tomorrow.
As expected, the challenge for alleged bias brought by the Wohlleben defense last week was rejected as unfounded, so the trial could continue today. The court issued its decision rejecting the objections of 20 December 2017 with which the defense had tried to get the presiding judge to influence the content of victims’ counsel’s closing statements. The defense asked for and was granted an hour-long break to discuss the decision, after which it decided not to challenge it. Accordingly, the closing statements of victims and their counsel could continue.
NSU trial to continue Wednesday, 7 February 2018, at 12 noon.
As was to be expected, the court needs additional time to deal with the challenge for alleged bias brought by the defense. The trial day tomorrow, 6 February, has been canceled, the trial session on Wednesday has been pushed back to 12 noon.
Motion for reconsideration rejected, defense challenge for alleged bias.
This morning, Zschäpe defense counsel Heer announced that he and his colleague Lickleder (the substitute for counsel Sturm) joined both the Wohlleben defense motion for evidence of last week and the motion for reconsideration brought yesterday. Their colleague Stahl did not join the motion.
The court rejected the motion for reconsideration, thus the status quo remains that the witnesses named by the defense will not be called. The Wohlleben defense reacted by – once more – challenging the judges for alleged bias.
This challenge, too, is sure to be rejected. It remains to be seen whether the court will cancel one or more trial days next week – today, the presiding judge adjourned the trial until next Tuesday.