Short reports: December 2001
21.12.2001: 46th day in court
The overwhelming logic of the public prosecution
Even the early morning snow could not hold back around a dozen
visitors from witnessing the last day in court this year.
The BKA officer van Elkan was again questioned on the raid of 23.11.1999
in the flat of the accused Axel H. The pistol which was found and
confiscated underwent an arms technical investigation by the BKA,
without a result. In the confiscated note- and address books, Tarek
Mousli wants to have recognised the writing of the accused H. The
police officer could not explain how this identification was possible.
He also had no knowledge of the result of the comparative analysis
of the hand writing which was apparently initiated.
At the end of this very short court day, the public prosecutors
Bruns and Maegerle could not refrain from rejecting the applications
lodged by Harald G.'s defence lawyers the day before. It is not
necessary, they thought, to provide a tape deck to be able to order
the tapes resulting from Mousli's communication inerception according
to their time of recording. Afer all, there had only been inconsistencies
in one case, which they were able to explain. Apparently also not
relevant to the trial is the insight by the defence lawyers into
files of further investigation results of the BKA. The contradictions
to be found in the situation report by the authority from August
1999 were completely logical, if one followed logic. The prosecution
claimed that the defence tried to make the trial impossible to follow
by introducing so much material. The defence lawyers Kaleck and
Würdinger said the arguments of the public prosecution were
without style and without basis.
In 2002 the trial continues: the next day in court is on Thursday,
3.1, most probably with the crown witness.
20.12.2001: 45th day in court
Lack of memory and silence
On the third day of his interrogation, witness Ralf Trede (active
as BKA investigating officer against the RZ between 1998-99) was
supposed to inform about the investigation activities of the BKA.
In particular two themes were addressed: how was Matthias B. identified
as "Heiner"? Which investigation files were and are continued
to be withheld from the court and the defence? The witness could
only shed little light on events: memory gaps alternated with partial
answers. The defence lodged an application for the original tapes
resulting from the interception of Mousli's phone and the original
version of a BKA situation report that had obviously been tampered
14.12.2001: 44th day in court
Price conscious BKA officer Trede dined with the
public prosecution at the Savignyplatz
The questioning of BKA officer Trede on the explosives found in
the water trench was continued today. Themes were the credibility
of the witness Karmen T., the question of when Mousli was first
offered to take part in the crown witness regulation and various
consultations between Trede and the public prosecution before the
trial days of yesterday and today.
In particular it became clear that Trede's statements from yesterday
on the detected explosives at least contradict the relevant files
the defence has been given insight into. Whilst Trede reported about
long searches, originating in Mousli's problems in exactly identifiyng
the place where he threw the explosives into the trench, the files
say that he could identify the precise position, as the position
is repeatedly referred to as the "initially stated position".
Today also could not clarify why two search operations could not
localise the explosives.
It also became evident that several contradictions were not followed
up by the BKA, also not when on 24.8.1999 an alarm clock was found
at the place that Mousli identified, but that the explosives were
found around 170 metres against the stream in the trench. The BKA
also did not react to the assertion of the witness Karmen T. that
Mousli could not have known the locality around the trench in 1995.
The witness Trede (41 years old) narrowly escaped perjury yesterday,
when he insisted that he did not talk to public prosecutor Bruns
before his interrogation in court. Today he conceded that such a
talk did take place, further he had to admit to have spent yesterday
evening with public prosecutors Bruns and Maegerle, from 5 pm "to
about 11 pm". Despite intensive efforts by the defence, which
was again attacked by judge Alban and public prosecutor Bruns, Trede
refused to give details about the nature of the talk of the past
eveving. He only conceded that "it was a chaotic time at the
BKA between 17 July and 24 August 1999", the only statement
that the defence could decipher between the permament memory gaps
and evasive answers.
Without being reprimanded by the presiding judge, he claimed not
to remember the telephone conversation he had with Bruns "around
three or four weeks ago", or to remember which files he viewed
on 4 December 2001, that is ten days ago. Even when he stopped reacting
at all to the defence's question on what his colleagues from the
BKA thought of "their" crown witness after they could
not locate the explosives, the presiding judge Hennig refrained
The trial day ended in a corresponding aggressive athmosphere on
12.30 pm and will be continued Thursday 20.12 with another interrogation
13.12.2001: 43rd day in court
"I would really like to help you, but"
Today the only witness in court was BKA officer Ralf Trede. Since
November 1997, himself and others were investigating, under the
auspices of the public prosecution, the use and any findings of
the explosive Gelamon after 1987. During the investigation, Trede
became a close colleague of the long serving officer Schulzke.
Both investigated the current crown witness Mousli and his then
girlfriend Karmen T. They claim the investigation was triggered
by the detection of explosives after they were stolen from a cellar
in Berlin in 1995. A young petty criminal with previous convictions
was "convinced" by them to lead them to the cellar, where
a crime technical investigation was then initiated, and the existence
of an explosives depot was able to be proven. The following investigation
then concentrated on the owners of the cellar, Mousli and his former
girlfriend. Undercover investigations then led to searches of Mousli's
flat and his first arrest in 1999. Trede then concentrated solely
on the missing Gelamon, which Mousli apparently hid in an area in
The search at the named trench first remained unsuccessful, only
after an extended search in August 1999 could the police locate
The whole trial day was marked by the obviously trained and studied
manner by which the witness responded to questions. Evading answers,
sudden attacks of forgetfullness, detailed recitations about irrelevant
points, answers to non-existent questions, this was the tactical
appearance in court. What did the investigating BKA officers actually
do between 1995 (explosives detected after break in), November 1997
(explosive defined as connected to RZ attacks) and March 1998? How
was it possible to "convince" the obviously unwilling
young thief to show the officers the cellar? How is it possible
that Tarek Mousli knew the trench in Buch at the time of the break
in, although his girlfriend only showed it to him at a later date?
Why do the investigating officers do not question the credibility
of the suspect, turned crown witness, after the first searches at
the trench obviously proved the location to be a false one? Why
was the location where, later on, the explosive was found, not adequately
examined and documented?
Rarely did an interrogation in this trial provide better answers
to questions that were not answered.
But not always did it go so smoothly. After Trede first denied
any contacts between the different authorities (BKA and BAW) in
relation to the content of the current trial, the public prosecutor
himself had to remind him of several telephone conversations both
of them had, in order to save "his man at the BKA" from
possible perjury. Even on that matter, said officer Trede, he had
to think about a little longeruntil tomorrow, Friday, 14.12 from
9.15 am (same place), then it continues!
07.12.2001: 42nd day in court
Six in less than three hours
Several witnesses appeared today, who were questioned on the investigation
into the Korbmacher case and the bomb attack on the Siegessäule,
or rather, the interpretation methods of the Federal Crime Police
Authority (BKA). From the altogether six witnesses, five came from
the armed state organs, the sixth was a taxi driver.
Chief detective superintendent i.R. Joachim Meiser (64), whose
interrogation lasted five minutes, took part in the investigation
into the vehicle used in the Korbmacher attack. The only interesting
aspect of his statement was that for the first time in this trial
it was mentioned that the different RZ declarations on the attack
were of a different format. His colleague Horst Nickel (62), police
officer a.D., ordered the examination of the flight vehicle used
in the attack which had been standing in a street in Dahlem for
months. In great detail he reported on how, why and in what manner
the car was secured and identified. The 48-year-old Klaus Brinkmann
(BKA) held a talk about his investigation into the arson device
found in the car, which did not explode. His task was the detection
of possible correlations in the materials used for attacks ("Tatmittelübereinstimmung")
with the result that similar devices had been used in attacks in
Hamburg and Hanover, but not in Berlin.
After an early lunch break, the pensioner and former crime police
officer Eberhard Marter (64) reported on the situation at the Siegessäule,
the morning after the failed bomb attack on the figure of Victoria.
After that, the only putative witness to this attack, the taxi driver
Antje B. (38), took the stand. She was in her taxi on the Straße
des 17. Juli at the time of the explosion but had not noticed any
suspicious circumstances. She only noticed a small cloud at the
Siegessäule which she thought stemmed from a fireworks rocket.
The last person to give a statement was the BKA officer Michael
Döll (50), on the technical examination method on carbon strips,
where he gave an impressive lecture and description of this partially
06.12.2001: 41st day in court
From the court room of open questions to the lecture
theatre of open answers
Today's court day saw two witnesses and two experts. The first
witness was heard in relation to the bomb attack of February 1987
on the Central Social Security Office for Asylum Seekers (ZSA).
Gerda E. (administrative employee at that authority) reported that
at that time there had only existed a single computer. A central
computer was only installed in 1990/91.
The second witness, by now pensioner Karlheinz Halfter reported,
despite "little remembrance", on how he found the ZSA
after the attack, on the investigation and collection of evidence
and how he came to conclusions as to the possible route used by
the attackers, the possible time of the attack and the possible
amount of damage to property caused by the same. The "examination"
of pictures and maps and the "recitation" of text passages
of the report he made at the time, all helped in the sometimes strenuous
attempts to remember. It is all the more surprising that after 15
years he was able to remember the demand for free floating ("Für
freies Fluten") out of the RZ statement admitting to the attack
at the time.
After former crime police officer Halfter had at least qualified
himself as trained in investigating explosives with several educational
seminars, Dr. Hans-Joachim K. gave his expert opinion afterwards
with his remarkable knowledge of explosives. In almost two hours,
trial observers received a detailed lecture on the chemical composition,
on producers, storage and the behaviour of explosives. That the
court room at times turned into a lecture theatre is probably also
down to Dr. K.'s fascination with the subject. However, the witness
could not answer the crucial question, that is, if one can draw
conclusions on the length of storage from the chemicals that remain
after a long-lasting storage of Gelamon 40 (if the conditions of
storage are known). This question now has to be answered by another
The second expert opinion in today's trial day came from IT specialist
Wolfgang D. from the BKA. Several strange occurances during the
examination of the tapes resulting from the interception of the
crown witness had led to questions by the Senate as well as the
defence lawyers. So the BKA officer, with a detailed two hour report
(even with a visual representation in the form of an interception
machine) gave insight into how people's communication is intercepted.
At certain points however, just like his predecessor, he could not
clarify events. In the centre of attention was data such as day,
time and place, which are collected in the context of the intercepted
conversation. Because part of this data is also collected in collaboration
with the relevant communications providers, the witness argued,
there is a possibility that contradictions could be explained with
technical problems the providers might have encountered.