The taking of evidence through the hearing of witnesses once again addressed very diverse complexes on this trial day. An investigating prosecutor reported on the interrogations of Holger G., who had testified only reluctantly and bit by bit, in particular as there had been several contradictions. In the afternoon, the questioning of one of the builders from Frühlingsstraße, Zwickau, was continued, after which two police officers were summoned who had inspected the scene of crime in the murder case of Enver Şimşek. André E.’s defending attorneys put forward an application for their and their client’s release from the trial as long as crimes were being dealt with that André E. was not accused of. The application was denied by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.
The hearing began at 9.45 a.m. Presiding Judge Götzl noted that Zschäpe’s defending attorney Stahl was on vacation. On the other hand, André E.’s defending attorneys were no longer being represented by colleagues. The only co-plaintiff present was the client of attorney Erdal, a victim of the nail bomb attack in Keupstraße, Cologne.
The first witness to be called was Dr Moldenhauer, investigating prosecutor under the Federal Prosecutor General, and responsible for the case of the defendant Holger G. The topics addressed were the interrogations of G. carried out by investigative judges at the Federal Court of Justice on November 14, 2011, and February 24, 2012, as well as a telephone conversation between Moldenhauer and G.’s defending attorney Hachmeister. Referring to the interrogation on November 14, 2011, Moldenhauer reported that G. had essentially confirmed his statements made previously to the police.
Essentially, the main topic had been how the campervan had been rented with his passport. He had initially been arrested on grounds of membership in a terrorist organisation; these accusations had later been changed to the support of such an organisation. At first, G. had said that the passport had been found in his car’s door by coincidence, and that the Three had then persuaded him to give the passport to Böhnhardt. They had been on their way home after a vacation, Zschäpe had baked a cake; he had seen the surrender of his passport as a friendly turn. Moldenhauer: “As it turned out later, he knowingly lied to me at this point.” Following the arrest warrant, G. had been taken to the penal facility Köln-Ossendorf, where he had been interrogated extensively both judicially and by Moldenhauer as representative of the prosecution. After the first judicial interrogation, attorney Hachmeister had phoned to tell him that Gerlach wanted to make further statements; that the “2011 passport” had been consciously made to exploit the similarity between Holger G. and the deceased Böhnhardt. Moldenhauer said that before all else, he had to consider that G. had always stated to have had problems placing events in time. G. had often jumped between topics, which made it difficult for him, Moldenhauer, to reproduce these statements. In many points Moldenhauer confirmed details already known from G.’s testimony and the hearing of the witness L. on the 19th day of trial.
Moldenhauer reported that he had understood G. in such a way that the “cut” from the right-wing scene had been marked by his move from Jena to Hannover. Götzl referred to the hearing’s protocol stating that G. had said to have been “out” for seven years and, had he known what the Three were doing, he would have “scarpered just last week”. Moldenhauer replied that this sentence was fairly authentic. G. had been appalled and had felt betrayed, as he had believed the friends that nothing would happen with his identification papers. Moldenhauer reported that H. had said to have seen Mundlos and Böhnhardt as strong guys, as men of action. They had told him, G., that they had established a legal livelihood, owned a computer shop. Moldenhauer said G. had stated never to have handed over his identity card; he had only lost one once. The contact with the Three had been initially managed by Wohlleben; the first meeting had taken place in 2005 or 2006. Moldenhauer reported that a larger amount of cash that had been found at G.’s home had been money that G.’s partner had hidden due to G.’s gambling addiction. When Götzl quoted from the hearing’s protocol, Moldenhauer confirmed that G. had stated that the members of the National Resistance Jena had assumed in 1997 that Böhnhardt and Mundlos had been responsible for planting the bombs and dummies in Jena in the past years. Moldenhauer was not able to make any statements concerning a spreadsheet that had allegedly been presented to G., on which several males of similar appearance, among them G., had been depicted.
Moldenhauer reported that the second judicial interrogation on February 24, 2012, had addressed, among other topics, G’s delivery of the weapon. In other hearings that had taken place between the two judicial interrogations, G. had provided extensive information and supplied crucial investigative leads, “which had also yielded results.” Amongst other things, G.’s statements had generated “the whole complex Wohlleben.” G. had been crestfallen after the extension of the arrest warrant to complicity, as he had been cooperative “and – in his words – had received the extension of the warrant as a result.” Götzl asked about the weapon delivery in 2001. Moldenhauer reported that this had not been addressed during the judicial interrogation, but the one carried out by the Prosecution. It had not been the usual interrogation of a confessed offender: “We said he had to regurgitate it bit by bit like a toad.” G. had stated to have received a sports bag from Wohlleben, which had included a jute tote bag; Zschäpe had picked him up at the station in Zwickau, from where they had gone Polenzstraße; only then had he realised that he had carried a gun. The weapon had been unpacked and loaded there. When Götzl referred to the protocol, Moldenhauer confirmed that on the one hand, G. had stated that he had felt something made of metal in the form of a gun in the bag, yet he had assumed that Wohlleben would not have put him on a train with a gun. On the other hand, G. had said he had not been able to get rid of the weapon during the train journey without getting into trouble. Moldenhauer: “That was the tangible contradiction.”
Then G.’s statement that one could not “save the world with five people” was addressed, which he claimed to have made in a discussion with the Three following the delivery. Moldenhauer: “He was furious that he had to transport the weapon and then he apparently said “what were you thinking, that you could save the world with five people”. Yet by that he did not mean that he was a part of those five, but that there always was this division, the Three and on the other hand Gerlach and Wohlleben.” G. had stated to have always rejected violence, that discussions of violence in the scene had always been just that for him, discussions; he had also not been able to imagine that the Three would murder anyone. His friendship to Wohlleben had broken up due to the transport of the gun.
Then it was the co-plaintiff attorneys’ turn to ask questions. Among others, attorney Tikbas asked about the discussions of violence. Moldenhauer replied that the abstract terms of violence and militancy had been discussed, and not attacking a specific person. The actions of the group Thüringer Heimatschutz at the end of the nineties had been discussed, that more had to be done, “not just pasting stickers and so on.” When asked by attorney Martinek with regard to Zschäpe, Moldenhauer replied that G. had stated that Zschäpe had handled the group’s finances, and if something had to paid, this had been done by Zschäpe. He could not say anything about hierarchies. Götzl urged that questions be asked to the judicial interrogation, for which the witness had been called. Attorney Stolle referred to G.’s statement to have had no contact with the scene for the past seven years, and asked whether this meant the scene in general or the scene in Jena. Moldenhauer replied that this meant the right-wing scene in general, that G.’s move away from Jena had meant his withdrawal from the scene there and in general. As they had claimed to have established a legal livelihood, had the question as to why they needed a false identity ever been addressed? Moldenhauer replied that he did not think that this had been discussed. Zschäpe’s defending attorneys Heer and Sturm asked in particular about the situation of the interrogation. Amongst other things, they wanted to know how the minutes had been taken. Moldenhauer said the report had been based on the dictations of the respective investigative judges during the interrogation. During the first interrogation G. had been allowed to phone his partner. A police officer had been present during the phone call. During the first interrogation, federal prosecutor Diemer had also been present. The interrogation had been conducted by the chairperson, but Diemer and he himself had also asked questions. Sturm asked Moldenhauer once again about G.’s statement to have left the scene seven years ago. G. had moved to Hannover a lot earlier than the year 2000, so this did not add up; had this also been addressed? Moldenhauer replied he did not know if this had been addressed during the judicial interrogation, but G. had seen his move away as a “cut”, but had still gone to concerts, although this had not been questioned further in the hearing.
Carsten S.’s defending attorney Hösl wanted to ask Moldenhauer about his client’s interrogation through the investigating judge in Karlsruhe, which had included a presentation of weapons, and during which the witness had also been present. Götzl initially allowed this. The copies of comparison weapons that had been shown to S. were addressed (see Report #19), as well as the question as to how they had been brought to the court room. Regarding most questions, Moldenhauer stated that he was no longer able to provide detailed information. Finally, federal prosecutor Diemer intervened, as he was concerned that, even though the witness had been involved in the investigation to a large extent, he had not prepared for these questions. Hösl answered that the representatives of the federal prosecution had been excited about S.’s statements and that this had surely been an impressive experience from a prosecutor’s perspective. Moreover, he had informed senior prosecutor Weingarten of the federal prosecution of his wish to question Moldenhauer on these matters. After the hearing, Götzl replied to a question by Wohlleben’s defending attorney Klemke that Moldenhauer would be called again as a witness with regard to the interrogation of S.
Following a lunch break until 1.10 p.m., the witness K. was called, a construction worker in Frühlingsstraße in Zwickau. Due to a lengthy debate between defending attorneys and the judge concerning the end of the 16th trial day, the questioning of K. had been interrupted. K. had hardly anything to add. He had been working on the vapour barrier up in the corner room, but had also worked on other things along the way. He had noticed the new cellar doors; the cellar had seemed to belong to the flat in the house that was occupied. He had not seen a sign with the inscription “Cellar Dienelt”, that only seemed familiar from the doorbell: “I think it said Dienelt. But I’m not absolutely sure.” There had been several technical crews on the building site; he thought that the electrician had worked on Monday and Tuesday of the week of the fire; they themselves had not started till Wednesday. He was able to remember a presentation of images carried out by the criminal investigation department of Zwickau on the Monday following the fire, during which he had recognised Mundlos and Böhnhardt. He had not been sure about Zschäpe, as the photograph had been taken from the side. The residents of the house had greeted them. He had met Böhnhardt when he asked about an appointment in his flat. Moreover, Böhnhardt had once asked if he could put an office chair into the skip. When confronted with his statement that Böhnhardt had asked in early October how long the building site would be there, K. stated that this must have been the case then. When the explosion had occurred, he had been on the other side of the road, about ten metres away from a driveway leading to the bakery. The witness P. and the plumber had been a few metres behind him. When asked by co-plaintiff attorney Reineke where he had been working in relation to the fire, K. replied that he worked directly above it.
As the next witness had not yet arrived, André E.’s defending attorney Hedrich brought forward a motion. In accordance with § 231 c of the code of criminal procedure, he applied for the release of his client and his defending attorneys from the main trial as long as crimes were being dealt with that André E. was not accused of. The hearing of evidence was primarily focused on the accomplished murders that the defendant Zschäpe was being accused of. The federal prosecution countered that the deeds were legally and effectively interwoven; it also had to be clarified whether the suspicion that the NSU was a terrorist organisation could be confirmed. This also concerned the defendant E.
The next witness to be called was the retired police officer W. Together with his colleague who had since passed away, W. had been the first to arrive at the scene of Enver Şimşek’s murder, who had died two days later as a result of his wounds. W. reported that he had already passed the florist’s on his way to work between 8 and 8.30 a.m. During the afternoon, at about 2.30 p.m., he had passed the place again and had seen a “couple with a dark complexion”, Şimşek had not been present. At the office he had been told that a young man had called, as he had been waiting for the shopkeeper for a considerable time. They had then driven there, and the young man had still been present. His colleague had opened the vehicle’s door, to reveal Şimşek lying there with blood on his face. He had still been alive, he had been panting. They had then informed the operations centre, the emergency doctor and the permanent crime unit. He could not say how things had then proceeded, as he had operated the police radio for further questions. All of this had happened after 3 p.m. They had then returned and his colleague had written the report. He could not say whether the victim’s position had been changed. When he had gone to the vehicle, the victim had still been inside. His colleague had not been in the vehicle. When asked by one of the co-plaintiff attorneys if the loading space had been visible from outside, K. replied that it had not.
A short break followed to clarify whether the next witness had arrived. At 2.12 p.m. the hearing was continued. Holger G.’s defending attorney Hachmeister was given the opportunity to read out a statement in accordance with § 257 of the code of criminal procedure, concerning the statements of the witness L. on the 19th day of trial. In essence, the witness’s statements corresponded to the written statements of his client. The witness had reproduced G.’s testimony verbatim or in words to the same effect and had been able to remember details, thus it should be noted: During the first interrogation G. had already made lengthy statements, which had been essentially voluntary. He had provided several leads at an early period. Thus he had incriminated himself, also by admitting to the use of narcotics that the police would later find. The witness L. had stated to have had the impression that the defendant G. had not been pleased that his documents had been used in crimes. This statement supported his client’s continuous claim that he had at no time reckoned that his documents would be used to commit criminal offenses.
Defending attorney Heer stated that Zschäpe’s defence would make no statements at this point, but reserved the right to do so once all of G.’s statements had been made available. They would also make no statements concerning the testimonies regarding the fire in the Frühlingsstraße at this point.
After another break, the witness S. was called, detective chief superintendent and scene of crime officer in the murder case of Enver Şimşek. To begin with, he reported to have arrived at the crime scene at about 4.30 p.m., when the police records department had already been present. At the behest of Götzl, S. went to the front and went over a folder of images. The images were projected onto a screen for the other participants of the trial. The first images to be addressed were three sketches of the location of the crime scene on Liegnitzer Straße, a through road without buildings in the Southeast of Nuremberg close to the Autbahn. The crime scene was an open area, a former access road to Schreiberhauer Straße, which had however been made unusable for cars by heaped piles of earth and a bollard. It was located between Lignitzer Straße and a cycling path, surrounded by trees. Sports facilities were close-by. The images first showed the florist’s stand and the Mercedes Sprinter from different perspectives. They then moved closer to the vehicle. The images showed two cigarette butts, different foot and tire prints, as well as cut-off flower stems, which the witness interpreted to have resulted from the fact that Şimşek had also put together bouquets of flowers here. The vehicle’s doors had been closed when Şimşek was found, but had not been locked. The images then moved on to the driver’s cab. Personal items had been found here, such as some change, cigarettes, groceries, cosmetics, nearly 7,000 Marks in a satchel, as well as personal documents and a special permit for this location. The driver’s cab had seemed more or less untouched. Overview sketches were then displayed, showing the loading space and the pieces of evidence there. He had found a box of HB-cigarettes and a tooth in a large pool of blood. Moreover, the locations of Enver Şimşek’s mobile phone and different bullet casings had been marked. The casings had come from weapons with the calibre 7.65 and 6.35. S. stated several times to have found “relatively massive” adhesions of blood. Blood spatters had been found on different parts of the interior space. The images showed that the back part of the loading space had been divided by a chipboard. S. said that the shelf had been only just above the window line: “If somebody stood there, you would see them.” A few images showed the vehicle once it had been cleared, and where another casing and further blood spatters had been found. Then images of Şimşek’s clothing were displayed. His cardigan, which had been cut up by rescue workers, was soaked with blood. His clothing featured several holes, “shot defects”, as S. called them.
The images of a reconstruction of the possible bullet channels were then shown, using a doll and rods to demonstrate the direction from which the shots had entered. Some of the images showed the doll in a standing position, some of the shots then entered from the front, others from below. The next images showed the doll in a lying position, the bullets had entered at a very flat angle; S. reported they could have entered in this way only if the victim had been lying, yet one should not underestimate the “considerable dynamics” of such a situation. In response to a question asked by co-plaintiff attorney Kolloge, S. reported that it was remarkable that no casings had been found outside of the vehicle, only one had been found in the folds of the victim’s clothing in hospital. Moreover, no blood had been found outside of the vehicle. Everything seemed to have taken place solely inside the Sprinter. When the shots had been fired, the weapons had to have been rather close to the interior of the vehicle.
The witness was dismissed and in conclusion Götzl stated that Carsten S. had testified as a witness concerning the federal prosecution’s investigation into the “flashlight”-attack. These statements would also be utilised in the main trial.
The hearing was brought to an end at 4.06 p.m.
Co-plaintiff attorney Peer Stolle made the following statement regarding the defendant Holger G.:
“Unfortunately, a lot of questions were not asked during the judicial interrogation. Now Holger G. does not want to answer any questions during the trial, so everybody involved has to rely on previous insights. In parts, this makes it complicated to comprehend the statements. Thus the question was seemingly not addressed as to why the Three had first wanted a weapon loaded with live ammunition and then the false identity of Holger G., even though they – as Holger G. allegedly reported – had apparently established a legal livelihood and were running a computer shop. Moreover, the investigators seem to have neglected to ask further questions concerning his alleged withdrawal from the right-wing scene. Altogether, the interrogation does not seem to have been very profound.”