Summary of the 40th, 41st, and 42nd Trial Days – 30 September to 2 October 2013

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The trial drags on long and sluggishly in Munich, but this week the results came quicker.  First, the witness that recently surfaced testified she saw the three in Dortmund.  Aside from that, the murder in Kassel was a focal point.  The Office of Constitutional Protection (VS) officer Andreas T. was examined to this end.

The most moving and somber moment of the week was the testimony of Halit Yozgat’s parents.  Beseechingly, Mrs. Yozgat directed a personal appeal at the defendant on Wednesday:  “I beg you to explain these events. […]  For seven years I’ve slept only 2 hours at a time – I could never sleep properly. […]  Please, think of me when you lay in bed – think about how I can’t sleep.”  On the day before her husband was heard by the court.  Ismail Yozgat described the dramatic moment when he came back from shopping to his son’s Internet café to relieve him because he wanted to go to night school.  He discovered his son there, shot to death.  He cried out “vermiyor” several times in the courtroom, overwhelmed by emotion, “Vermiyor” – he didn’t answer.  Yozgat explained how he returned to Kassel after the burial of his son and only had four of his five children.  The police sealed off Halit’s room and he couldn’t enter it even once, in a moment of mourning.  Rumors ran around in Kassel about the family.  The testimony allowed one to comprehend a bit what the family had to go through.  For five years, until 2011, the family didn’t dare go out.  Ismail Yozgat suffered two heart attacks and is now in early retirement.  For Yozgat it was important to make clear that his family never accepted compensatory payments from the German state and appealed to all at the end of his examination once again that the Holländisch street in Kassel be renamed Halit street – the street on which Halit Yozgat was born in 1985 and on which he was shot to death on the 6th of April 2006.

VS Officer at the Crime Scene

In the afternoon the tensely anticipated interrogation of Andreas T., who was previously an employee of the VS.  T. was in the internet café on Holländisch street while Halit Yozgat was shot to death and was chatting on a dating website.  He claimed to have not been aware of the murder and did not contact the police after he found out about it.  He claims that because he first learned of the murder on Sunday, he had thought that he was in the Internet café on Wednesday and not on the Thursday the murder was committed.  He also claims to have not noticed the dead Halit Yozgat, although on Monday a police officer had already stated that Halit was hardly missable as he lay behind the desk.  made it clearer here than by any previous witnesses that it is almost impossible that the version depicted could be true and asked if T. was trying to hide something “whatever the reason.”  T. attempted to style himself as the victim, sobbing occasionally throughout, however more from self-pity than any grief for the victims of the serial murders and their family members.  T. will certainly spend several more hours on the witness bench, because after two hours judge Götzl stopped the interrogation in order to pick it up again at a later, yet undetermined point in time.

A Visit to Dortmund?

The third focal point of the week was the question if the Zwickau trio were in Dortmund at the beginning of April 2006.  Two weeks earlier the co-plaintiff attorney Dierbach named a witness in a request to hear evidence that claims to have seen Zschäpe Mundlos and on an adjoining property in Dortmund-Brackel.  She described to the court on Monday how she recognized Mundlos, Böhnhardt, and Zschäpe with 100% certainty.  Through the attic window of her house she observed four darkly clothed people for several minutes.  Because the situation seemed suspicious to her, she used binoculars and for that reason could recognize the three men and the woman.  Moreover, she reported that during this period of time and in the preceding year a mobile home had parked on the street.  The testimony of the witness sounded conclusive to the observers and was free of contradictions.  The husband confirmed the information provided by his wife on Wednesday, and likewise reported about a conspicuous mobile home and delivery van in front of the property.  However, he could no longer remember the faces of the people from the adjoining property.  Co-plaintiff attorney Hoffman said after the hearing that the testimony could first be considered conclusive when other people have testified.  Hoffmann: “In any case, after the testimony of these witnesses, further investigation, particularly in the Dortmund Nazi-scene, must be performed.”

In addition other police officers were questioned that were involved in the investigations in Kassel and the serial murders in general.  In the process, it became clear how meticulously the murderers planned their crimes.  For example, a note was found in the debris from the fire in the Zwickau residence, presumably sketched by , which outlines the Kassel internet café.  On the backside numbers are written which can be partly identified as the Kassel police and fire department radio channels.

The Forecast

Next week the neighbors from Dortmund will be questioned.  Aside from that, Carsten S. will once again testify.  He will now answer questions from Ralf ’s defense after having hitherto refused to do so.