26 July 2018

Appeals against the verdict

Two weeks after the verdict, the Munich court has notified parties of who has appealed that verdict: all five defendants have handed in notices of appeal, as has the federal prosecution with respect to André Eminger, who had been acquitted of the majority of the counts in the indictment. Victims and victims’ counsel have not appealed – largely due to the fact that appeals by victims are inadmissible if and to the extent the accused have been convicted. Victims’ counsel will, however, have an opportunity to comment on the appeal briefs of other parties.

When the Federal Court of Justice will decide on the appeals is hard to predict: first of all, the court in Munich will have to submit its written judgement. In theory, it is allowed to take 93 weeks from the day of the oral verdict, i.e. until late April 2020. Most parties expect the court not to use up the entire time allotted, but it seems very likely that it will take at least a number of months before the written judgment arrives.

At that point in time, parties will have to decide whether to go through with their appeals, and if so, to prepare their appeal briefs. This initiates a set of written proceedings which will take up a few months – at the end of those proceedings, the Federal Court of Justice can then decide on the appeals. The Court is likely to conduct a (short) oral hearing in Karlsruhe on the prosecution appeal. By contrast, more than 90 per cent of defense appeals are dealt with in entirely written proceedings, it is certainly possible that this will also be the case with the defence appeals in the NSU case.