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from: ak - analyse &kritik - No. 446 from 18.01.2001
Journal for left-winged discussion and praxis

A chief witness, who is worth his money

Prologue to the Berlin RZ trial: Tarek Mousli meets the expectations

"He works with the court with the same readiness and easygoing, as he put a lot into the "Szene" in previous times". Such was the comment of one of the visitors of the trial towards the behaviour of Tarek Mousli at the 2nd panel of the Court of Appeal in Berlin. At that place a trial was hold against him in December with the charge of "membership in the terrorist organisation (§ 129a) "Revolutionary Cells (RZ)", of causing a dynamite explosion and of offence against the law about explosive".

The deal with the Bureau of Federal Prosecution (BAW) paid off well for Mousli: a suspended sentence of two years imprisonment.

The trial against Mousli was a mere formality. The performance lasted four days of trial, with a result certain in advance. The hearing of evidence was confined to the confession of the accused and of the reading aloud of some RZ's letters reclaiming responsibility and other papers. The previous girl friend of Mousli and two BKA (= Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation) officials were questioned as the only witnesses. None of the persons involved in the trial asked the accused unpleasant questions. On the contrary, with the Supreme Judge Eckhart Dietrich the fitting cast was found for this show. He dealt with Mousli in an almost paternal way, again and again encouraging him benevolently. That one participates since the end of April in the Witnesses' Sheltering Program of the Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BKA) and gets 2,400 DM every month plus health insurance, rent, telephone costs and hire car.

Mousli tells detailed, extended and indifferently about his personal background in the "Autonome Szene" in western Berlin during the 1980th and early 1990th. Doing this, he changes some of his evidence given earlier before the questioning officials of BKA and BAW. At other points he went a long way back, and told in detail what he knows or claims to know about the left-winged Berlin Szene. Nobody investigated the contradictions and inconsistencies, which came to light - no questioning back, no insisting. How would this have been possible - in consequence Mousli was defended by three lawyers: the two Chief Federal Prosecutors, who were formally the counsel for the prosecution and furthermore by his own lawyer. From himself, hardly anything he could be heard during these four days of trial. In his final speech he confined himself to only one sentence: " I support the requests of the Bureau of Federal Prosecution".

Buying evidence, letting discount of penalty

As far as he was concerned nothing more was asked for. Already at the first day of trial the Supreme Judge Eckhart Dietrich had announced the sentence to be expected: the court was not in the habit to go beyond the demands for a stated penalty of the Prosecution Office without compelling reason". The Bureau of Federal Prosecution made it clear in advance, that they would apply for a suspended sentence in case that Mousli would be able to cope with his role as a chief witness. Tarek Mousli met the exceptions of the BAW in every sense. Chief Federal Prosecutor Rainer Griesebaum was quite satisfied: " He showed us connections we didn't know anything about so far". (Süddeutsche Zeitung 2.12.2000). No wonder, that Chief Federal Prosecutor Christian Monka came to the conclusion in this final speech, that there was no doubt about the reliability of Tarek Mousli's evidence. It was "clear, without contradictions, differentiated, the knowledge of an insider". The confession of the accused was marked by sense of guilt and remorse".

Tarek Mousli talks about everything and everyone, things he experienced himself and - when the RZ is concerned- things he heard about. Mousli came to Berlin in the early 1980th. He came into contact with the "autonome" connections with the squatter's movement. There he got involved in a so-called radio group, which ran a sort of counter clarification, intercepting the radio telephony of the police, of the Regional Bureau of Criminal Investigation and of the Agency of Internal Security. Via contacts they got modern police transmitters. A contact at the Alternative Liste got hold of operation plans of the police and other internal documents via the Committee on Internal Affairs of the Berlin Parliament. " I would give it this way: We were informed fairly well", Mousli said. The "radio group" was financed by a committee - he calls it co-ordination committee -, that distributed a considerable amount of money between the legal and illegal project groups of the Kreuzberger Szene. The "radio group" got 10,000 DM every year and 100,000 to 150,000 DM are supposed to have flown into the RZ .

These detailed descriptions of the autonome Szene of Berlin apparently show the "insider knowledge"; Chief Federal Prosecutor Monka was referring to in his final speech. And furthermore Mousli tells names. For example of those, who were part of the "co-ordination committee" or of those, who took part in the arson attack of the "RZ youth organisation Revolutionary Viruses" on the Social Welfare Office for Refugees (ZSA) of Berlin, where 6,000 asylum files were destroyed. " We listened to all that with big ears, Chief Federal Prosecutor Griesbaum explained, thus insinuating further investigations in this matter.

According to his own evidence, Tarek Mousli was a member of the RZ from 1985 to 1995. During his time of active membership until 1990, three regions of RZ activities existed: the structure "Pott" in the Ruhrgebiet, the "North" with cells in Hamburg and Bremen and the "Island" Berlin with two cells. The Frankfurt group had separated in the course of the protest movement against the Runway West early in 1980.

Tarek Mousli - the universal weapon of the BAW

As Mousli tells, he came to the RZ by Gerd Albartus, who was murdered by Palestines in November 1987 in the Near East. This murder, but also the firearm attacks on Harald Hollenberg and Günther Korbmacher, which he didn't endorse - wherefore he was critizised as bourgeois moralist - prompted his withdrawal from the organisation. He was frightened by the changes in personality in the town guerrilla: "We became cold and hard". Apparently, Mousli tried to present his role in the RZ as negligible and of secondary importance. Mainly he was active as a technical expert. At the firearm attacks, when on 28.10.86 the head of the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office, Harald Hollenberg, and on 1.9.1987 the former Supreme Judge of the Federal Administration Court, Günther Korbmacher, who was concerned with matters of political asylum, were shot into the knee, as well as at the arson attack on the ZSA, he only gave logistic support as finding out about the scene of crime and escape routs, getting hold of cars and supervising the radio communication. His former partner, however, told at court, as she remembered, Mousli told her to have shot himself at the attack on Günther Korbmacher. Nonetheless the court followed the evidence given by Mousli, who, in contrast to previous times, presents himself as a faint light.

The RZ specialist of the BKA, by now retired, admitted straight on, that Mousli was put under at the interrogations: "We had the impression, that Mousli could tell something more about one or the other person and we pointed out to him, that he could only benefit from the chief witness arrangement, he gives information in this matter without reserve. The result is known. Arrest warrants were issued against six persons. Among them is his "best friend" Lothar Ebke, against whom a trial for extradition is hold just now in Canada. Five of these persons are in custody, four of them more than a year.

What Mousli had to tell about these six persons during his own trial, was not very precisely at all. According to his evidence, Rudolf Schindler, who was up to now in the dock together with Hans-Joachim Klein in the so-called OPEC trial, was the shot of the RZ. He shot at the two firearm attacks in Berlin and at the murder of the hesse Minister of Economic Affairs in May 1981, as well. Mousli is no able to prove these accusations or to corroborate them with own observations. He states, it was told to him in this way or he got the impression from stories and discussions, that this had been the case. A lot of what he reports, he knows only by hearsay. For the BAW that is sufficient to send him as a witness for the prosecution to the OPEC trial in Frankfurt, as it happened on the 30th November, and to the future RZ trial in Berlin.

The investigation agencies stick stubbornly to Mousli. Without him, as the BKA specialist tells, it would not have been possible to charge any person in Berlin with membership in the RZ. Allegedly the evidence of Mousli corresponds to the records of the Stasi (the former Agency of Internal Security in eastern Germany) about the structure and the alias of the RZ in Berlin. Furthermore the BKA realised only because of Mousli's evidence, that a RZ operation was behind a forgery of documents, for which Harald Glöde was convicted in the 1980th. The RZ got away with more than 300,000 DM from forged postal saving books.

Apparently the BAW feels very sure with their chief witness. However, they don't have really anything against Axel Haug, Harald Glöde, Matthias Borgmann and Sabine Eckle, against whom the trial is set up in Berlin in spring. The alleged depot of explosive and weapons in the Mehringhof, which was searched for at the second search of the Mehringhof building in May last year - even by video direct line-, does, for example, not exist. Now the BAW hopes to save the trustworthiness of the chief witness by the finding of 4.8 kg of explosive in a ditch, where Mousli directed them. However, that is no proof for the truth of his reproaches against the other accused, since, according to his own statement, Mousli himself hid the explosive in this place.

Where is nothing, it is necessary to raise the impression, that one has got a lot. And Chief Federal Prosecutor Monka is not to proud for making use even of the Berlin Szene: "It is the Berlin Szene itself, who gives valuable evidence for the trustworthiness of Mousli. He was not called a liar, but a traitor (Berliner Zeitung 19.12.2000). His colleague Griesbaum works with the same weird logic: "If that were only lies, which were told, they wouldn't have raised such hostilities from the public during the trial (Frankfurter Rundschau 7.12.2000).

All in all the BAW seems to be satisfied with the course of the trial. Wolfgang Kaleck, the lawyer of Matthias Borgmann, pointed out already as the trial approached, what the concern of the BAW was. The fact, that Mousli is sentenced now, is to create facts against the other accused. "Mousli's evidence can be used for a first sentence without verification, because there is nobody to ask critical questions". The lawyers of the other accused had tried to get a right for interrogation also in the trial against Mousli, however, the 2nd senate of the Court of Appeal rejected this. Like this the BAW succeeded, too, to get through at court, without critical questioning back, a construction, that will be very useful in the coming RZ trial in Berlin. According to his own evidence, Tarek Mousli had his active time in the RZ until 1990. Afterwards he was a so-called "sleeper" until 1995, who was at disposal for supporting operations. His active membership ended, according to his own statement, in 1990; nevertheless he was sentenced for membership until 1995.

What is not, must be invented

Like this, the court allowed a construction, which might, under certain circumstances, make it unnecessary to prove, what the other accused have really done, to corroborate the reproach of membership according to § 129a. In the end, even a pronounced withdrawal is no longer an argument not to sentence according to § 129a, because it is enough, if somebody states, the person, who withdraw himself, would still have been at disposal for supporting operations afterwards. So, the BAW still has membership registers, where they delete or add members just as they see fit.

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