NSU Trial - Too many lawyers for too many plaintiffs makes for a circus atmosphere

Published by carolyn on Sun, 2013-05-19 09:15

May 19, 2013

Taken from Spiegel Online International (by Gisela Friedrichsen) which is doing a fair job of covering this trial for English readers. Pictured right is Beate Zschäpe on Day 3 of her trial, May 15. Highlights:

The trial resumed on Tuesday, May 14 "after an eight-day adjournment during which the court considered - and rejected - a defense motion to replace the judge on the ground that he was biased because he had ordered defense lawyers to be frisked before entering the courtroom."

Carolyn - No participant in the trial, including the Turkish "victim families" and their attorneys was searched - ONLY the three defense attorneys. Wow, talk about totally unnecessary, but it does serve to give the German people a sense of the bias of this court. On this 2nd day, the charges against the defendents were read out. The media plays up that there were "emotional gasps and sobs," etc. from the "victim family members" in the gallery.

New Motions

"On [the[ third day of the trial, the morning [was] focused on a purely legal problem -- who sits on the judge's bench. Motions against the judges are difficult. They have to be made straight after the charges have been read. A defense that botches this aspect of the trial is doing a bad job."

So there was "another flurry of motions from the defense and heated exchanges across the courtroom floor. The attorneys of Zschäpe and her four co-defendants [Ralf Wohlleben and three unidentified] argued that the trial should be stopped because:

politicians had interfered in the controversy surrounding media accreditations for the trial.

• the case had already been prejudged because the government had paid out €900,000 ($1.1 million) to the families of the victims -- from a state fund dedicated to the victims of far-right extremism.

• because a square in the city of Kassel had been renamed after one of the [alleged] victims, a Turkish man shot dead in his father's Internet cafe.

• and because the court and the Federal Prosecutor's Office had failed so far to shed light on the shredding of intelligence files on far-right investigations.

" "The public is already convinced that Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos are guilty," argued Nicole Schneiders, the defense attorney of Ralf Wohlleben, one of the defendants. That posed an insurmountable obstacle to the trial, she argued in a lengthy speech that involved reading out long quotes from media reports.

"Her statement triggered a heated exchange with lawyers for the co-plaintiffs and judge Manfred Götzl. The court echoed with bitter laughter and angry exclamations that poisoned the atmosphere.

"At one point, one of Zschäpe's three defense attorneys, Wolfgang Heer, called on the court to establish order and said it was unacceptable that people were laughing at him. At which Harald Diemer, the chief federal prosecutor, retorted: "Laughter is a reflex!" Then another Zschäpe attorney, Wolfgang Stahl, stormed out of the courtroom in apparent disgust.

The list of victims increases

"As if the trial weren't complex enough, one lawyer [for the victims] has filed a motion to bring in even more co-plaintiffs -- people injured in a 2004 nail bomb attack targeting immigrants in Cologne, also believed to have been the work of the NSU.

"Some 70 people were not informed of their right to take part in the trial, the lawyer complained.

"The daunting prospect of even more plaintiffs and lawyers prompted [head judge] Götzl to suggest separating the complex nail bombing case from the rest of the trial -- should more victims actually come forward."

*     *       *

"A little goodwill and a bit less hotheadedness would go a long way to calming down the proceedings. Yet the judge, Götzl, appears to find it difficult not to rise to every provocation. It's the third day of the trial, and all sides should be settling in by now. But there's a growing sense of tension. Admittedly, it's an unenviable task for any court - dealing with four prosecutors, 11 defense attorneys and more than 60 attorneys representing the victims' families."

This is the result of Chancellor Angela Merkel and other politicians rush to extend state sympathy to the Turkish immigrant community in Germany BEFORE any legal process had even begun, let along completed! It has been a pathetic sight to see the government and media combine to condemn "right-wing extremism" against "innocent Turkish immigrants" without a viable proof, and then react clumsily to the revelations that the "right-wing organizations," including the practically non-existent NSU (National Socialist Underground), were filled with Federal Security agents who practically ran the show! What a farce.


NSU trial, Germany, Race