27 February 2018

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.

The Wohlleben defense brought a motion for reconsideration, claiming to be “astonished” that the court had not considered Carsten Schultze in its decision – after all he had stated that he had received the money used to buy the Ceska murder weapon from Wohlleben. The court has not yet decided on the motion for reconsideration.

The “old defense counsel” of Zschäpe, Heer, Stahl and Sturm, once more moved to be released from their position as assigned counsel. They also asked for a statement by the presiding judge on details of how last week’s trial dates had been canceled. As to their release, they argued that Zschäpe was by now being adequately defended by counsel Grasel and Borchert, who had after all announced that they would also make a closing statement – and that the court also held this to be true, as could be seen by the fact that it had canceled the trial days last week due to the absence of Grasel and Borchert even though Heer and Sturm had been present. Zschäpe joined their motion. The federal prosecution quite rightly only brought a short reply, stating that this was far from satisfying any of the reasons foreseen by the law of criminal procedure for release of assigned counsel.

Finally, the Wohlleben defense once more moved that the court hear the witness Sven Rosemann, claiming that Rosemann would testify that Böhnhardt had called him in the summer of 2000 and asked him for a pistol and that he, Rosemann, had bought a Ceska 83 pistol from Jürgen Länger and had brought it to Böhnhardt. The defense did not give any reason to believe that Rosemann’s testimony would actually confirm the story the defense had fabricated – a classic case of a totally unsubstantiated, “shot in the dark” motion for evidence which is to be rejected.

The trial will continue at 11 AM tomorrow. It seems unlikely that the court will be able to deal with all defense motions tomorrow. Accordingly, there is a danger of further delays to the trial.