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Short reports: January 2002

25.01.2002: 54th day in court

Trial interrupted until 15 February/ Accused still on remand

Originally there was no reason to expect any surprises in today's trial day. Everything spoke for yet another 'alibi' court day, in order to avert the violation of the criminal procedural provision that a trial cannot be interrupted for more than 10 days.

At 9.20 am presiding judge Hennig started the day by reciting the RZ declaration on the attack on the Berlin Siegessäule, dated 15.2.1991 and entitled "ELSE KÄMPFT - HERR-MANN DENK-MAL". A few minutes later, it seemed that the programme for today was over, but then it didn't' only rain, it starting pouring: Mrs Hennig declared that one member of the Senate was ill. The court therefore had to interrupt the proceedings until 15 February. Although the Senate had also thought about introducing another judge for the time span, it had rejected the idea on grounds of the circumstances: the sick judge happenes to be the referee judge Hanschke.

In particular Harald Glöde and Matthias Borgmann, supported by their defence lawyers, queried if this renewed interruption of the proceedings would not pose the question of ending the imprisonment on remand. After all, today's spectacle, together with yesterday's missing trial day, came up to four weeks during which, again, nothing had happened. Further, an immediate confrontation of the crown witness with the statement of Rudolf Schindler would thereby be made impossible. "It is not very nice. We don't think that's great either", presiding judge Hennig conceded, but kept her position on the matter.

It is questionable if in the face of the illness of referee judge Hanschke, the Senate will lift the continuing imprisonment on remand of Matthias Borgmann, Harald Glöde and Axel Haug. Definite on the other hand, is that the crown witness will use this interruption to consult his friends from crime police department (BKA) and study his response

18.01.2002: 53rd day in court

Rudolf Schindler's admission to court undermines crown witness

The 53rd trial day started an hour late and with an admission to court by the accused Rudolf Schindler, on the accusations against him and his wife Sabine Eckle by the crown witness Tarek Mousli.

Just like the past year's proceedings, his admission, which was not uncontested amongst the accused and the defence lawyers, made clear that crown witness Mousi is at best a master of lies, but that he cannot be seen as contributing to the establishment of truth in this trial.

Schindler, whose admission was read out by his lawyer Hans Wolfgang Euler, was able to invalidate Mousli's claims on the alleged structure of the "Revolutionary Cells" in Berlin as well as outlining and proving substantial corrections to Mousli's statements on the leg shootings of Harald Hollenberg and Günther Korbmacher and the bomb attack on the Central Social Security Office for Asylum Seekers (ZSA). It became clear that Mousli, far from remaining in his alleged supporting role, was noted for his, so Schindler, "idiotic tough guy" demeanor.

Why the public prosecution (BAW) could agree on the position that Schindler was telling the truth, whilst at the same time claiming, so public prosecutor Bruns, that they still held their crown witness to be believable, will have to be deciphered during the next court days.

In any case, consultation between Schindler's lawyers, the BAW and the court on how a possible admission would be treated by the court have already taken place since last November. In today's proceedings, the following agreements were made public:

Rudolf Schindler will not receive a sentence higher than 3 years and nine monhts, and will be released from remand immediately. A possible remaining penal sentence (after consideration of the remand period) will be put on probation, meaning that Schindler does not have to go back to prison.

The defence of Sabine Eckle, in the name of their client, joined the admission. She is also released from imprisonment on remand.

The hearing of evidence however, has thereby not ended. The next trial day for example will see Mousli questioned on Schindler's admission, amongst others.

Because it is know to the court (and to us) that Mousli is a regular visitor of this homepage, and because we do no want to give the crown witness the opportunity to prepare a detailed response to Schindler's statement - or rather, we think the BAW should and probably will provide him with the statement itself - we will only publish the full version of the admission after the crown witness has been confronted with the same.

The coming weeks will show if the defence lawyers of Harald Glöde will decide to lodge another application for bias against the court, because the latter failed to inform them of the consultations which have been going on since last November, a clear violation of the court's trial duties.'

17.01.2002: 52th day in court

Much room for interpretation through unsystematic systematics

Today, the defence continued its interrogation of Tarek Mousli. Three main themes were under discussion:

What happened in the time span after Mousli's arrest, during which Mousli decided to give evidence? Why are there contradictions between Mousli's statements from the first interrogations and his later statements, with regards to the structure of the RZ? What happened at the end of 1985, when he and his former 'friend' Lothar E. were allegedly recruited to the RZ, at the same time but by different people?

Today the crown witness offered a new variation on his sudden loss of memory when confronted with contradictions in his statements. In 1999, he drew, and continuously changed, a map of his knowledge of organisational and communication structures and codenames within the RZ, which consisted of separate cells without direct contact to each other. The aim was the representation of all contacts through lines. On questioning, it became clear that some contacts he later claimed had existed, were missing ("I must have forgotten them") and that people had been allocated to certain positions in the map in which they could not have fallen, according to his own systematic ordering of the map ("that's just a coincidence").

The later claimed unsystematic nature of his systematics thereby opened more room for interpretation, which then could be filled with a foggy remembrance, if necessary.

11.01.2002. 51st day in court

Another attempt to make contradictory nature of Mousli's evidence clear to court

During today's court day, which ended early at 12 o'clock, Axel H.'s defence lawyers tried to confront Mousli with the contradictions in his evidence to the attack on the ZSA in 1987. Mousli was supposed to clarify the mystery of how it was possible that the attack was planned by members of two different RZ cells, if the first meeting of the same groups only took place in 1989, during the ominous walk through the forest near Berlin. As was to be expected he could not remember. Today it went as far as the public prosecution feeling obliged to publicly support the crown witness.

10.01.2002: 50th day in court

RZ family day out to 'Loretta" at the Berlin Wannsee

The crown witness was today questioned with regards to the identification of RZ member "Heiner" and the famous forest walk. This walk through the forest can be seen as a key experience for T.M., without which he could not identify several persons as RZ members. The outing in the summer of '89 (meeting place was apparently the pub Loretta at the Wannsee) is claimed by Mousli to have been a conspiratorial meeting, during which he got to know RZ members from other RZ cells. Various contradictions in Mousli's statements became evident - the presiding judge however called for a break twice, just in time for the witness to catch breath inbetween.

Because Sabine E. is suffering from migraine, the trial was interrupted until the next day.

04.01.2002: 49th day in court

"I don't have an explanation for this"

How come that RZ actions always took place differently from how the witness claims to have known from the preprational meetings? For this, Tarek Mousli has, in his own words, "no explanation". Today therefore, the differences between Tarek Mousli's version and actions as they actually happened were under discussion.

In the attack on Hollenberg, the flight car was not standing at the place that Mousli claimed it stood. It was also not stolen as Mousli insisted, but it was bought. The alleged 'Unkraut-Ex' (name of explosive) bomb for the ZSA, which was rebuilt by explosives experts according to Mousli's description, would have only created a pretty fire. Also absolutely mysterious: the origin of the "sleeper" story and concepts thereof. Mousli had presented various versions during his interrogations, today he didn't want to exactly remember.

03.01.2002: 48th day in court

"I can't remember that today"

Today's programme: questioning of the crown witness with regards to events surrounding the attacks on Hollenberg and ZSA, the alleged explosives arsenal in the Mehringhof and the finding of explosives in the trench near the lake. "I can't remember that today", was Mousli's stereotypical answer to most questions about details which are not listed in the protocols of the interrogations. Even if the memory is very faint, there were clear statements: Tarek Mousli had never held a gun, had never actually seen the arsenal being used and he can definitely name members of attacks. Also very differenciated were his statements on the finding of explosives in the trench. Mousli's statements, despite ardent attempts not to enter slippery fields, were too obvious: the contradictions surrounding the finding of explosives are becoming ever more evident. Shortly before the trial was interrupted until 9.15 am tommorow, it became clear: somebody is lying - why?

02.01.2002: 47th day in court

12 minutes of recitation in court/ Mousli back in court tomorrow

As presiding judge Hennig declared today, Tarek Mousli, the principal witness to this trial, will appear in court again after more than three months.

Today's court day started at 8.27 am and ended at 8.49 am. Judge Hanschke recited the expert opinion of the Crime Technical Institute of the Federal Crime Police Authority (BKA), the death certificate and the protocol of the interrogation of Otto G.

In the expert opinion from 3.2.2000, the Crime Technical Institute of the BKA took position on the pistol and the 16 bullets that were found in Axel H.'s flat. The pistol is of the make Röhm, type RG3s, 6mm calibre Flobert Knall. The functional pistol "is oldand shows signs of use", says the BKA in its report. The bullets do not fit the pistol. Details of the makers of the bullets "9mm Luger" originate from the time of WWII.

After the recitation of the death certificate of Otto G. from 25.9.1995, the protocol of the witness interrogation of the pensioner from 15.4.1988 was read out. Otto G. from Zehlendorf had told the police about the VW Passat, the possible flight car for the attack on Dr. Korbmacher. According to the witness, the car was standing in the Ihnestrasse in Dahlem for months. He though the car was left there in Fall 1987 and not moved until it was found by police. He also noticed the car because one window and the cover were slightly open. He did not "consciously" notice any objects in the car.