NSU trial takes summer break with little progress so far

Published by carolyn on Sun, 2013-08-11 09:02

  Overseeing the NSU trial, presiding judge Manfred Götzl (3rd from left), is said to have control of the proceedings in spite of the chaotic presentation of evidence.

The following report is loosely taken from  http://www.dw.de/nsu-trial-adjourns-for-summer-with-many-unanswered-ques... and http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/nsu-neo-nazi-terror-trial-ad... -carolyn yeager

The trial of four suspects, accused of aiding a "neo-Nazi" terrorist cell, has adjourned for a month-long summer break after being in session for 32 days. So far, the accused have largely refused to answer questions.

The opening of the trial, which was first announced would begin in January 2013, was delayed until May for various reasons of incompetency. In three months time (May through July), the Munich court only managed to be in session for a single month of days. That is being called satisfactory advancement by the media, who are careful not to criticize Judge Manfred Götzl or the state.

What has been accomplished so far? A modest amount of evidence has been taken from prosecution witnesses (not in chronological order); one defendant, Holger G., has read a short statement but refuses to say more; another defendant, Carston S., has given 26 hours of testimony. He was revealed to be a homosexual who broke off helping the group in 2000 because he became uncomfortable in that millieu. Carsten S. moved from the Eastern part of the nation to the Western part at that time, to the city of Dortmund, where he went to work at an AIDS clinic. Carsten S.'s testimony included that he supplied the two NSU men with a gun - a Ceska model pistol like the one used in the killings - delivering it to them in the restaurant of the Kaufhof Dept. Store in Chemnitz in 2000. The fact that this store did not open until 2002 seems to have been dropped down the memory hole.

Holger G.'s prepared statement "admits" that he had given 3000 deutschmark to Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos over the years, plus his passport and driver's license to use. He also provided them with a pistol after being asked by Ralf Wohleben. But he insists he knew nothing of any terrorist acts (or killings, presumably).

Sessions now scheduled up to the end of December 2014

The court is essentially addressing 14 criminal proceedings at once: 10 cases of murder, two bombing attacks, arson and various robberies. The presiding judge Götzl is described as extremely meticulous in complying with criminal procedure.

“I have the impression that the judge is trying to conduct an extensive evidentiary hearing, so that at the end, he can make a no-nonsense consideration of the evidence,” said defense attorney Stefan Hachmeister. “Götzl is a paragon of thoroughness.”

He is said to be strict, and severely disciplines anyone who demands anything that is inadmissible or takes the wrong tone. There could be serious conflicts in the future between the public prosecutor's office and attorneys for the individual 'victims' families. One thing they want to know is whether it is true that the NSU only became radicalized under the influence of a BfV informant. For these people, it is no comfort to say, as former Federal Public Prosecutor Herbert Diemer often does, that: "This is not relevant to this case, but instead belongs before an investigative committee."

Do you think there will be such an investigation? It is the Left and the pro-immigration forces that want to dismantle the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution because they believe it tacitly allows right-wing "extremists" to exist and operate. The extreme left wants all nationalist political activity to be banned and criminalized. It is a complex situation for German "Democracy."

Below: Zschäpe's defense team: from left, Sturm, Stahl and Heer.