What is defense to prevent

Lübcke assassin: How the defense wants to prevent life imprisonment

If Mustafa Kaplan and Jörg Hardies have their way, then the man who admitted to having shot Walter Lübcke should be free again after 15 years in prison at the latest. At the very latest. The attack on the CDU politician was not to be rated as murder, but merely as manslaughter, explained Stephan E.'s defense lawyers on Thursday in their closing lecture before the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court. Without specifying a specific sentence, they demanded a temporary prison sentence - "proportionate, but acceptable". According to the law, between five and 15 years would be possible.

The lawyers do not see any basis for the preventive detention required by the Federal Prosecutor's Office after detention. The assassination alone is not enough for that. And of the second charge, the racist knife attack on the young Iraqi Ahmed I, her client had to be acquitted for lack of evidence.

Advance submission of the accessory prosecution

Kaplan did not even bother to evaluate the evidence in his part of the pleading. He used the submission that co-plaintiff Holger Matt had delivered in his closing lecture last week. The lawyer of the Lübcke family had explained in great detail why he believed in the alleged complicity of his long-time friend and current co-defendant Markus H. - and why he relieved him of the repentance. Kaplan praised Matt had “worked out excellently” that the individual perpetrator thesis represented by the Federal Prosecutor's Office was wrong. "The explanations resembled a scientifically based work."

Her client, the lawyer asserted, not free from pathos, had promised the relatives of the killed government president "the truth". He kept this promise and will continue to do so in the future whenever the family wanted to know something about him. "This promise is permanent and irrevocable." And this is the only truth the defendant is concerned with when he seriously accuses his long-time neo-Nazi comrade. "Neither Mr E. nor his defense lawyers have a personal interest in Mr H. being convicted or acquitted." But that is not entirely true. In the legal assessment of the act of June 1, 2019, Kaplan's allegiance ended for the colleague from the other side. Like the federal prosecutor, Matt had applied for life imprisonment for insidious murder of low motives.

The assassin's "mistaken belief"

Kaplan now argued: The murder trait treachery was not present because the politician had seen his attacker - and was therefore not innocent. That can only be true, however, if the events on the terrace of Lübcke's house in Wolfhagen-Istha were as dynamic as Stephan E. presented in the trial. And that needs Markus H. as an accomplice.

Kaplan's attempt to disguise the second homicidal trait, the base motivation, was even more daring. The defendant, he said, did not pursue a “selfish motive”, which is typical of low motives. Incited by the right-wing agitation that made the refugee-friendly district president responsible for every criminal act by foreigners or Muslims, the killing of Walter Lübcke has become a political goal for him. "As absurd and wrong as it sounds: He was wrong to believe that he was acting in the interest of the general public." Kaplan did not mention that a political motive for murder is generally considered to be a lower motive according to the highest court rulings.

Defender speaks of "impertinence"

Co-defense attorney Hardies dealt with the second allegation. On January 6, 2016, Ahmed I., who had fled to Germany from Iraq shortly before, was stabbed by a cyclist on the street in Lohfelden near Kassel. The Federal Prosecutor's Office is convinced that Stephan E. was the culprit here too, and this is particularly true of DNA traces that were found on a jackknife found on him. These traces fit the victim, but were too weak to be clearly identified.

The fact that an expert nevertheless gave them a certain informative value tempted Hardies to be harsh. He spoke of “impertinence” and an “unscientific report”. To base a conviction on this is "completely out of the question". Ahmed I.'s lawyer Alexander Hoffmann, who, as a secondary prosecutor like the federal prosecutor's office, had demanded such a conviction, he even accused him of a “politically left-wing hate sermon”.

Judgment scheduled in a week

Mustafa Kaplan had previously approached the federal prosecutor's office in a similarly head-on manner. He harshly criticized the fact that senior public prosecutor Dieter Killmer did not want to recognize any will to clarify or remorse in the detailed statements made by Stephan E., even before the court without contradictions, but only process tactics. And he even made the prosecution jointly responsible for the contradicting and at least partially false confessions that Stephan E. - at the instigation of his former defense lawyers Dirk Waldschmidt and Frank Hannig, as Kaplan was convinced - had made in the preliminary proceedings. Finally, the federal prosecutor's office paved the way for the two scene lawyers to temporarily represent the right-wing extremist from Kassel, although he himself had not asked for it. "So the Federal Prosecutor's Office has its share in the confusion of confessions."

The trial is to continue on Tuesday with the defense of Markus H. The verdict is scheduled for January 28th.