BGH decides on revision

Status: 02.12.2021 6:45 p.m.

How close was the relationship between the NSU terrorists and André E.? In the Munich trial, the now 42-year-old got away with two and a half years in prison, but the BGH is now reviewing the verdict.

At the beginning of 1998, Beate Zschäpe, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt went into hiding after the police excavated their bomb workshop in Jena. Shortly afterwards, the three who would soon form the core trio of the NSU met André E. and his wife. The trio stayed in contact with the couple until the NSU discovered itself in November 2011. André E.’s wife became Beate Zschäpe’s closest friend and provided her with identification papers. André E. himself procured the three conspiratorial apartments and rented mobile homes at least three times.

Was André E. privy to the NSU’s actions?

Mundlos and Böhnhardt used two vehicles to attack a post office and a savings bank in Chemnitz. With another they drove to Cologne, where in December 2000 they planted a bomb in a shop run by migrants – disguised as a Christmas stollen tin. The owner’s daughter, who was 19 at the time, was seriously injured in the explosion.

All of this is beyond dispute. However, these questions need to be clarified: Was E. privy to the NSU’s actions and, if so, when did he know what? Was he acting deliberately? Was he a murder assistant who actively supported the NSU’s deeds or an unsuspecting acquaintance who did friends a favor?

This is what BGH spokesman Kai Hamdorf said in the revision: The Senate had revealed today that the focus of the proceedings was on the point in time at which the accused had what intent with regard to the goals of the NSU.

2018 two and a half years imprisonment for E.

The Munich Higher Regional Court acquitted André E. on essential points in its judgment of July 11, 2018, arguing that E. had not known about the NSU’s murders, assassinations and robberies for a long time. That only changed at the beginning of 2007.

At that time, Beate Zschäpe was summoned to the police because of an alleged break-in in the neighboring apartment. E. accompanied her to the office, passed her off as his wife and provided his actual wife’s ID for this. From this point on, E. was largely inaugurated, according to the Munich judges.

Because he used this knowledge to provide the NSU with two Bahncards under a false name in 2009, he was eventually convicted of supporting a terrorist organization – albeit with a light sentence of two and a half years.

Federal prosecutor wants tougher punishment

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office does not want to be satisfied with that. Federal Prosecutor Jochen Weingarten argues that the investigators found legal errors after evaluating the written grounds for the judgment. Therefore, at today’s hearing, an application was made to quash the acquittal and to refer the matter back to the Munich Higher Regional Court.

Co-lawsuit hopes for a new process

Edith Lunnebach, attorney for secondary prosecution, also hopes that the proceedings against E. will be reopened. She represents the then owner of the store in Cologne, on which the NSU carried out a bomb attack.

On such occasions, they would be reminded of the attack again and again, but had meanwhile gained enough distance to cope with their lives. “And that is what distinguishes my client, who has been injured, that she consciously went her own way and did not allow herself to be completely destroyed by this act,” said Lunnebach.

For the lawyer, there is no question that André E. consciously supported the NSU. The 42-year-old, whose whole body is covered with Nazi tattoos, is a neo-Nazi packaged as an advertising poster, according to Lunnebach. The assumption that he did not know anything about the actions of the NSU was alien to life.

The presiding judge of the 3rd Criminal Senate of the Federal Court of Justice, Jürgen Schäfer, at least indicated today that the judgment of the Munich Higher Regional Court certainly gave rise to questions and discussions. On December 15, the BGH wants to announce its verdict.

BGH: Revision hearing in the case of NSU supporter André E.

Thies Marsen, BR, December 2nd, 2021 5:58 pm

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