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Initiative for an International Trial Observation

We are a number of people from the "Bündnis für Freilassung (Alliance for Release)", which came together after the first arrests in December 1999 to organise solidarity with the arrested persons and to inform the public at large. The arrested persons are friends, colleagues and/or are political friends.

The "Bündnis für Freilassung" is not a homogenous group, our positions range from classical anti-repression work up to active political public relations, which also comment the history of the RZ (= Revolutionay Cells) in a critical way. No clearly defined or consistent opinions or statements exist among the various accused persons concerning how to lead this campaign.

Our intentions with the Trial Observation are:

We are assuming that the media - at least at the beginning and the end of the trial - are interested in the trial and are going to write about it. The present fashion of "discussion of the militant history of the BRD", the OPEC trial against Hans-Joachim Klein and Rudolf Schindler in Frankfurt, which just came to an end, as well as the short trial against the chief witness Tarek Mousli in December 2000, might perhaps be further media incentives.

We don't want to leave it to the Bureau of Federal Prosecution (BAW) to influence the reporting of the media in a one-sided way. This means on the one hand, providing interested media with our own information and assessments about the trial, on the other hand to launch - in contrast to the court - other contents and subjects, which, in our opinion, are important in this context.

In this connection, International Trial Observation is meant as a contribution to the media and the public to try to scrutinise and to delegitimize this trial, which is based only on the evidence of the chief witness.

Part of the strategy of the lawyers will without doubt be to break down this special judicial system of § 129a and the evidence of the chief witness, which was rewarded with his own freedom. However, since there is more than one central subject in this trial we suggest the following subjects:

One point could be in connection with International Trial Observation to comment and to attack the § 129a politically. The long and fatal history of § 129/129a should be presented and its special character be pointed out (collective fact: not individual criminal offences have to be proved any longer, but a membership in a special organisation is sufficient). This paragraph is quoted specifically in the indictment. § 129a is a tool for investigation and research, with the aim of getting to the bottom of the ever more confusing opposition scene, to break up their systems of communication and to draw up a sociogram of the opposition. What part does this play in the coming trial? Or is § 129a rather used as a "proof of danger" or as compensation for the lack of proof for some of the criminal offences?

This is not an independent, interest-free witness, but an assistant of the prosecution. As far as the chief witness is concerned, the trustworthiness of such a bought witness (with all his material advantages) has to be questioned. In the classical "constitutional" sense, this is not an independent witness, free from interests of his own, but rather an accessory of the prosecution. This dependency of his new bosses and the pressure on the chief witness to perform (Gössner) should be pointed out, as well as the "quality" of his evidence, which comes quite often "from hearsay". What function have chief witnesses" beyond this mere criminal and legal framework? Are they taken into consideration as constitutional revenge according to the principle: it's not worth resisting, we get you in the end - and what is more, with the help of your own people.

One charge, the attack on the ZSA (Central Social Welfare Office for political refugees), should be compared to the real life of refugees and migrants in the 1980s. In connection with this charge, the specific situation of refugees in the mid-1980s, the position and the importance of the ZSA in this context, and the wide movement for support of the refugees could be elaborated on. Today, nearly 15 years later, the outcome is as follows: on the one hand a hole in the wall of the ZSA, filled a long time ago now, or in other words a material damage of 5,000 DM, on the other hand the politics and the EU/FRG borders, which have caused the death of hundreds of refugees and migrants in the last seven years. And which case is being tried now? The refugee policies of Germany/the European Community, which hold human beings in contempt, should be in the dock.

The governmental and criminal processing of the left-wing and militant history. The long road has to be recapitulated once more and reference points of current interest should be included (several trials, Fischer, Mescalero, etc.). Who are the people who bring their influence to bear on the interpretation and definition of "another time/situation?" Is it really possible to "digest" something like that in a legal way?

So far these are our suggested subjects - we are interested in a discussion about the subjects and suggestions for changes and completion.

The preparatory group of "International Trial Observation"

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