20 June 2018

Closing statement of counsel Sturm still not finished. And: a change in the weather.

One could have thought that the third and second-to-last part of the closing statement of counsel Sturm – on whether or not Zschäpe is criminally liable as a founder and member of a terrorist organization – could have been rather short, relying as it does to a large part on her preceding statements on the evidence taken in court: since Beate Zschäpe was not involved in the crimes on an equal footing with Böhnhardt and Mundlos, but was simply the nice flatmate who loved kids,  she was not a member of the organization; since under German criminal law organizations have to consist of at least three members, the NSU was not an organization in the legal sense.

It seems, however, that Sturm has planned a rather lengthy statement also on this question – when the trial ended shortly after the lunch break today, she was far from having finished it. The trial session ended earlier after counsel Kaiser announced that accused Eminger was suffering from migraines, probably caused by a coming change in the weather. The court, after having received a medical opinion on Eminger’s health, ended the trial day shortly after 1.30 PM.

Thus Sturm will continue her statement tomorrow. She will apparently focus, for one, on an argument that the German criminal provision on terrorist organizations has to be interpreted in accordance with European law – an argument which, from the looks of it, is bold to say the least. Second, she has announced that she will deal with the effect the NSU crimes had on the general population in Germany – presumably in order to show that they could not be considered terrorism under the legal definition.

Whether Sturm will be able to finish her statement tomorrow remains to be seen. What therefore also remains entirely open is when the court will be able to finally pronounce its judgement – activists in Munich and many other German cities have announced demonstrations on that day to state their demand that the judgment cannot mark the end of fact-finding concerning the NSU. As stated, when those demonstrations will take place is still open – but as Confucius says: It is not important how slow you walk, just as long as you don’t stand still.