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27.09.2001: 24th court day

RZ trial about to collapse?

Before the presiding judge Gisela Hennig could decide on the request for a stay of proceedings (which the defence already lodged on 13th September), defence lawyers Studzinsky and Würdinger once again took the word.

Although they were now in possession of the evidence, consisting of a further 955 tapes from Mousli's telephone interception as well as 23 files with transcripts, the defence lawyers declared that already a preliminary examination of some 825 tapes and the corresponding transcripts had shown that their request for a stay of proceedings would have to be extended.

Firstly, they illustrated, with the support of specific examples, that the transcripts did not fully correspond to the conversations heard on the tapes - all tapes would therefore have to be examined and compared with the transcripts. Further, the lawyers said it was necessary to check if the original tapes corresponded to the copies made of the same, because there had been striking gaps.

Secondly, calculations by the two lawyers had established that it would take 716 hours (and therefore, even with a working week of 40 hours, several months), for all tapes to be examined - a task which could not be mastered next to the current proceedings. Their exposition also showed that neither the court, nor the Federal Prosecuting Office (BAW), or even the other defending lawyers, had made the effort to listen to the interception tapes.

Thirdly, the lawyers argued that even a mere spot-check from the convoluted audio evidence proved that the intercepted conversations dealt with questions that were of significant importance to the understanding of the development of Mousli's statements. In the past, the BAW had continuously denied this. For example, the tapes showed that Mousli had been offered to take part in the Crown Witness Regulation far earlier than the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) and the BAW admitted, and that the BKA had informed Janette O., Mousli's then partner, over the phone that she "did not have to lie any more".

On 25 September, the court already rejected the request for a revoking of the arrest warrents in writing, but it did not want to make a decision on this extended appeal, which also involves a request for a revoking of the arrrest warrants as well as a stay of proceedings until all the evidence had been examined. The trial has therefore been interrupted until the 4th October.