Inside the Raslan Trial: An Invitation to Coffee at Al Khatib

Inside the Raslan Trial: An Invitation to Coffee at Al Khatib

Illustration by Rachel Ma

 

TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN

Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany

Trial Monitoring Report 31

Hearing Date: March 24, 2021

A full PDF of this report is available, here.

All reports and witness lists are available, here.

 

CAUTION: Some testimony includes descriptions of torture.

 

Summaries/Highlights:[1]

Trial Day 66 – March 24, 2021

The witness who was initially summoned for the day preferred not to come to Koblenz to testify in court. Although the judges explicitly offered her to remain anonymous, partially cover her face, get legal counselling and moral support from a person she trusts, the witness preferred not to come due to mental health issues and concerns about her and her family’s safety. Criminal Chief Inspector Knappmann, who previously interviewed the witness was summoned instead to tell the court about a meeting between Anwar Raslan and the witness in Al-Khatib. He explained that according to the witness, Raslan knew about what was going on at the Branch and had a senior position. Although the witness was under the impression that Raslan tried to help her find her confiscated car, she was convinced that he played a part in the crimes committed in Al-Khatib.

Day 64 of Trial – March 24, 2021

The hearing began at 9:35 am with 5 spectators and 2 members of the press in the audience. None of the accredited journalists requested access to the Arabic interpretation. The prosecution was represented by prosecutors Klinge and Polz. Plaintiff Counsel Kroker was not present. One of Raslan’s Defense Counsels, attorney Böcker, joined ten minutes late.

Presiding Judge Kerber opened the session by sharing a submission of witness counsel von der Behrens on behalf of her client, the witness who was summoned for the next session. As none of the parties requested to provide a statement on the matter, Judge Kerber went on to explain that the judges will grant large parts of the defense’s request to introduce evidence in court, dated December 9, 2020. She added that the piece of evidence, a Facebook chat between P17 and Abu Akram, would already be on the case file in Arabic, as well as its German translation. The court interpreters will therefore assess the quality of the translation in court, acting as linguistic experts; a practice that was already used several times. Defense counsel Böcker thanked the judges, explaining that the intention of the request to have the chat translated and introduce it as evidence in court was aimed at assessing its content, an assessment of the already existing translation would therefore be sufficient.[2]

Judge Kerber further explained that the judges would now read out the German translation of an English e-mail that the judges received from the witness who was initially summoned for this session. Kerber added that this will serve as explanation for why the witness did not appear in court and the judges instead summoned the BKA officer who previously interviewed her when investigating Raslan’s case.

[The following is a recreation of the e-mail as read out in court, based on what the Trial Monitor was able to hear in court.]

Dear Ms. Schmitt [sic],

I received your summons to testify as witness in court. However, I kindly ask you to accept my apologies for not testifying in court, based on the following reasons:

After the investigation [questioning by the BKA] in [information redacted] in August 2019, my mental health significantly worsened.

Despite protective measures [witness protection] I am concerned about the safety of my family, my old parents, who are still living in Syria, in areas controlled by the criminal regime.

I am also concerned about my own safety and the safety of my daughter, in light of the extremist Syrian opposition living outside Syria. They all believe that Mr. Anwar R., a defector and member of the Sunni community is innocent. They are thinking in fanatic categories and I think that they consider me to be Alawite, although I live a secular life.

I hereby confirm all statements I made during by hearing with the BKA on [information redacted].

I assumed that the situation [her meeting with/interrogation by Anwar Raslan in his office in Branch 251] took place on Thursday April 12 or 19, 2012, based on the fact that during the meeting; Mr. Anwar R. received a sheet of paper for his signature. I was able to see that it was a death certificate of a detainee who died from torture in Branch 251. Mr. Anwar R. said that the corpse should not be handed to the family immediately, to prevent them from burying it after the Friday prayers the next day.

I thank you for your efforts to achieve justice and accountability and fighting impunity. I want to pay condolence and respect to all the victims.

Sincerely,

[name redacted]

Judge Kerber said that after the court received this email in early March, Judge Wiedner contacted the witness again. Kerber said she will translate and summarize the witness’ reply dated March 17, 2021 herself. Kerber said the witness thanked Judge Wiedner for his encouraging words and explained that she cannot come to Koblenz as she is not mentally prepared to be exposed to the matter once again.

Raslan’s Defense Counsel Fratzky asked Judge Kerber what Judge Wiedner wrote the witness, as she was referring to his ‘encouraging words’. Judge Kerber said the entire conversation took place in English and can be found on the case file. Judge Wiedner added that he told the witness that the court can support her regarding travel arrangements, that she has the possibility to be accompanied by a counsel, an interpreter and can request breaks during her testimony.

Judge Kerber added that Wiedner offered the witness to stay anonymous, partially cover her face, be accompanied by a legal counsel as well as a person she trusts for moral support, that the court would cover all expenses, that she would be supported by a court interpreter during her testimony, that she could request breaks and that the court would take care of all travel arrangements.

As no one had any further questions or objections to this informal read-out, Judge Kerber called the witness who was summoned instead of the initial witness.

Testimony of Inspector Knappmann

Criminal Chief Inspector Knappmann, who previously testified in court several times, was informed about his rights and duties as a witness. Judge Kerber further explained that, as already mentioned when he was summoned, his present testimony should focus on the witness interview he conducted with [name redacted], who was initially summoned to testify in court on this day.[3]

Judge Kerber’s Questioning

Judge Kerber first wanted to know when and how the hearing of the witness took place. Knappmann recalled that after his questioning of a witness (P3) on [information redacted], this witness told the BKA about a friend who lives in Paris. He also said that she was questioned by Anwar Raslan, however, he could not provide further information. The BKA then contacted their French colleagues and eventually heard P3’s friend, [name redacted] [the witness] in Paris on [information redacted].

Kerber asked whether the witness was informed about her rights and duties. Knappmann affirmed, adding that she was informed about that according to the law, as is done with every witness.

[Note from the Trial Monitor: Three spectators entered the courtroom and took a seat in the public gallery. One of the court officers asked them whether they were summoned as witnesses. All three denied, indicating that they were there to speak with Raslan after the session.]

Kerber asked how long the hearing went. Knappmann said they interviewed the witness from 2pm until 10pm.

Kerber wanted to know whether the witness’s testimony was re-translated for her. Knappmann affirmed. Kerber asked whether the witness made any corrections to her testimony based on the re-translation. Knappmann again affirmed, explaining that these corrections can be found in the transcript in form of handwritten amendments.

Judge Wiedner’s Questioning

Judge Wiedner asked Knappmann to first describe the overall situation of the witness hearing, particularly regarding communication with the interpreter. Knappmann explained that as usual, they used an interpreter for the interview. In this particular case, it was [name redacted], who had worked for the BKA several times before that and always did a good job in the eyes of the BKA officers. The French police did not provide an interpreter for German-Arabic interpretation, that was the reason why the BKA was accompanied by [name redacted].

Wiedner wanted to know whether the witness was able to communicate with the interpreter or if there were any signs of miscommunication. Knappmann said there were no signs of miscommunication. Just like at every questioning, the BKA officers asked the witness whether she was able to communicate with the interpreter; a question that was affirmed. Knappmann added that throughout the questioning, there were no issues surrounding interpretation.

Wiedner went on to ask about the atmosphere at the interview, asking whether the witness was nervous and/or cooperative. Knappmann explained the witness was very talkative. He did not need to ask many questions and she usually responded fluently and in a coherent manner.

Wiedner wanted to know whether the interview took relatively long. Knappmann referred to his previous statement, adding that including re-translation and corrections to the transcript, the interview happened from 2pm until 10 pm. They had a break at around 8:20 pm before they started to re-translate the transcript to the witness.

Wiedner went on to ask Knappmann about the content of the witness interview. He referred to different logical sections of the interview and asked Knappman what the witness told the BKA when she was asked to provide personal information. Knappmann shortly explained that the interview was roughly divided in four sections: information about the witness, Anwar Raslan and Al-Khatib, Eyad Al-Gharib, and general questions. He added that three sections dealt with the actual subject matter and that the first part, the section about the witness herself, was relatively long. The witness talked a lot and Knappmann decided that it would not be a good idea to interrupt her, so she kept talking. Amongst others, she said she was born on [information redacted] in Damascus. She grew up in a “politically leftist” family. After she graduated from high school, she studied economics for one year, before she studied drama for four years. The witness then worked as an actress and later received training as a movie director. Knappmann added that she said about herself that she was one of the best actresses in Syria.

Wiedner asked Knappmann whether the witness also spoke about the reason why she left Syria. Knappmann said the witness left Syria in April 2013. She was afraid of further arrests, as she was arrested before that and questioned by the Intelligence Services in April 2012. Knappmann explained that the witness was arrested at a demonstration. She did not participate in the demonstration but supported her friends who participated. She did so by helping them escape from the security forces with her car and by talking to the security forces, trying to prevent them from arresting others. Knappmann said the witness told the BKA that she was taken to Hafez Makhlouf’s Division in Al-Jisr Al-Abyad, what the BKA identified as Division 40. She had to stay there for 6 hours and was interrogated there. Knappmann added that the witness mentioned that this incident was also covered by Al-Jazeera. She was then questioned in Al-Khatib, where she met Anwar Raslan. After that she was arrested by the Air Force Intelligence and another time when she was questioned about her request to leave the country. However, she could not remember where the last interrogation happened. Knappmann said the witness further told the BKA that before she was able to submit her request to leave, she was under a travel ban and not allowed to work for around one year.

Wiedner wanted to know whether the witness described herself as oppositionist. Knappmann affirmed.

Wiedner went on to ask Knappmann about connections between the witness and Anwar Raslan. Knappmann recalled that after asking her to provide personal information, they went on to ask her about Anwar Raslan. Amongst others, they showed her eight different pictures, asking her whether she recognized anyone. Without hesitating, the witness pointed at the second photo – Raslan’s picture – and identified him as Anwar Raslan, the person who she met in Al-Khatib.

Wiedner mentioned that the court previously had to deal with different sets of photos that were used during witness interviews to identify the Accused. He asked Knappmann about the number [inaudible] of this set. Knappmann confirmed, adding that it was the set that the BKA previously used. He went on to describe that after the witness identified Raslan on the photo, he and his colleague asked her to provide more information on him and her relationship with him. The witness recalled her arrest in April 2012 and explained to Knappmann that she was not driving her car herself, but a friend. He was arrested as well, and her car was confiscated. The witness further said that she had to stay at Branch 40, where she was beaten, for six hours. After she was released, she went to a friend to use the internet. That was when she found out that according to media coverage, her friend [who drove her car] was arrested as well. Knappmann said that this was when the witness found out that her car was confiscated. She started to search for her car and received a call a few days later. The caller told her to come to Al-Khatib for coffee.

Wiedner wanted to go back to when the witness identified Raslan on a photo during her interview with the BKA. Wiedner asked Knappmann how exactly the witness identified him. Knappmann said she immediately said that she knew the person in the picture and even mentioned the name, although Knappmann and his colleague did not even ask for a name at this point.

Wiedner cited from the BKA’s transcript of the witness’s interview, during which the witness said that she knows the person in picture two. She added that ‘back then’ his skin was a bit brighter, and his name was Anwar Raslan. Wiedner asked Knappmann to provide some information about a birthmark that was mentioned in this situation. Knappmann recalled that in this situation, the witness smiled because all pictures showed people with a birthmark at the same spot on their face. When she asked whether this was on purpose, Knappmann and his colleague affirmed.

Wiedner wanted to know what the witness said about Al-Khatib. Knappmann said she took a taxi to get to the Branch. She explained to him and his colleague that she was generally afraid of the Intelligence Services. Al-Khatib, however, meant nothing but horror to her. She arrived at a gate before she was allowed to enter the compound. Knappmann added that the witness explained to him that she was not entirely sure about certain things that happened. For example, she could not remember whether she was accompanied by someone on her way to Raslan’s office inside the Branch, or whether she was walking alone. In other situations, however, she was able to provide a lot of detail. According to the witness, some instances were ‘burnt into her memory’. Knappmann further described that the witness heard sounds of beatings on her way to Raslan’s office. She explained that she later found out about people being tortured there. She therefore identified the sound she heard as sounds of beatings. However, in the very moment, she could not identify it. To get to the office, she had to go upstairs. In the staircase she met a guard and a blindfolded detainee with a swollen face. Knappmann said that the witness later explained that this was the moment when she made a connection between the sound she heard, and people being tortured. She further described that the detainee’s upper body was undressed and partially swollen. He was very thin. The witness also described that the windows were open, so she could hear the sound of beatings. A noise that first sounded to her like someone was cleaning a carpet. In this moment, the combination of the noise she heard and the apparently tortured detainee, she got afraid of the guard.

Wiedner intervened, asking whether the witness said anything else about torture in Al-Khatib. Knappmann said she did not see blood but remembered that the detainee’s face and upper body were swollen. Knappmann went on to describe that the witness felt scared when she was in the staircase. She then entered a waiting room, when an elderly officer entered the room and took her to another room. In this office she could see a desk and a bed. A very young officer entered the room to look for something. He was dressed in civilian clothes and, according to the witness, had an innocent face. She explained that this officer did not look like a member of the Intelligence Services. However, after he left the room, he apparently changed his clothes and came back now wearing a uniform and an angry face. The witness told Knappmann that in this moment, she ‘was expecting the worst’.

Wiedner asked how Knappmann, and his colleague interpreted the last sentence [expected the worst]. Knappmann said this would be a difficult question to answer. She was apparently expecting some violent actions. He added that considering that there was a bed, one might make assumptions about rape. However, this would only be his personal interpretation. The witness did not mention anything in this direction.

Wiedner asked Knappmann to continue his previous descriptions. Knappmann said that the witness was scared and called for an officer. However, she had to wait in this office before she was taken to Anwar Raslan’s office. When asked about the location of the two offices, the witness said that Raslan’s office was on the right side of the stairs whereas the first office was on the left side. However, she was not sure whether they were situated on the same floor.

Wiedner intervened, saying that there was a handwritten amendment to the BKA’s transcript. According to this amendment, the witness said that she was taken to Raslan’s office which was on the left side of the stairs. The first officer’s office was on the right side. However, she could not say whether they were situated on the same floor. Knappmann affirmed, adding that the handwritten amendment was made when the transcript of her testimony was retranslated to the witness. Knappmann went on to explain that when the witness entered Raslan’s office, he was already there. He was very friendly and offered her a coffee. Knappmann said the witness mentioned to him that ‘at least they didn’t lie about the coffee’.

Wiedner wanted to know whether the witness described the atmosphere in this situation. Knappmann said she made detailed descriptions.

Wiedner cited from the BKA’s transcript according to which the witness said that Raslan was waiting in his office. He was very friendly and shook her hand. Knappmann confirmed. Upon Judge Wiedner’s request, Knappmann went on to recall how the witness described the interior of Raslan’s office. She said that there was a desk in the back, with a window behind it and two pictures one the wall. One of Hafez Al-Assad and one of Bashar Al-Assad. There were two chairs in front of the desk and in front of these chars was a sofa and a small table. She said that she sat on the sofa. Knappmann recalled that when the witness drew a sketch of the office during their interview, she explained that she first sat on the sofa together with Raslan. He then left her sitting on the sofa when he went to his desk to work on something. At the end of the meeting, she sat on the right chair in front of his desk.

Judge Kerber said the court will now have a look at this sketch. When asked to describe the sketch, Knappmann added that the witness said there maybe was a computer on the desk, however, she could not say with certainty.

[the following is a recreation of the sketch shown in court, based on what the Trial Monitor was able to see and hear]

Wiedner asked what the witness told Knappmann about the content of the chat between her and Raslan. Knappmann said that according to the witness, Raslan first praised her work. He said that his daughter liked one of her roles in particular. The witness said that Raslan knew many details about her and was obviously well prepared. He only made one mistake when he assumed that [name redacted], a famous Syrian director, was her father. Raslan said he has a lot of respect for him and his role in society. According to the witness, this was Raslan’s only mistake regarding information about her. Raslan then went on to ask her about her opinion of certain actors, some of them pro-regime, some against. Knappmann said the witness mentioned three names in this regard during their interview, however, he could not remember them.

Wiedner wanted to know whether the witness described the situation with Raslan as a questioning or a normal conversation. Knappmann explained that the witness was under the impression that it was not a classical questioning but rather a normal conversation. However, she also felt like it was some kind of ‘cat-and-mouse game’. She was not sure about Raslan’s intentions and tried to ‘protect herself’, however, did not conceal that she was with the opposition. According to the witness, Raslan did not make any accusations.

Wiedner asked about how Hafez Al-Assad’s name was mentioned during the witness’s conversation with Raslan. Knappmann recalled the witness saying that Raslan spoke positively about Hafez Al-Assad. She thought that Raslan was a supporter of the old regime. Knappmann explained that the witness told him that her family was rather leftist, and her father was detained for four months and her aunt for four years, when Hafez Al-Assad was in power. Therefore, she was very cautious towards supporters of the old regime.

Wiedner cited from the BKA’s transcript, according to which the witness said that Raslan praised the methods of the old president Hafez Al-Assad. She therefore had to be cautious about what to say. Knappmann confirmed, adding that the conversation between the witness and Raslan then reached a turning point, when Raslan said that her passport was found. The witness explained the BKA in this regard that her passport was in her car. It was consequently found when her car was confiscated. However, Raslan did not mention the car or the activist [her friend]. When the witness asked Raslan where she could find her car, he did not know, but told her where she could not find it. The Air Force Intelligence was ultimately the only place that was left [that Raslan did not mention]. She thought that Raslan somehow tried to help her and give her a hint. She therefore assumed that her car would be with the Air Force Intelligence.

Wiedner asked whether the witness mentioned other people who were involved in or present during her conversation with Raslan. Knappmann said when asked about this, the witness denied, however, described that when Raslan sat at his desk, an employee entered the room and spoke with him. He was an elder officer who brought several documents. Knappmann said he also asked the witness about the content of the conversation between Raslan and this officer. The witness recalled that this was when she had to wait on the sofa because the elder officer brought several papers for Raslan. Raslan then asked the officer when ‘this’ happened. The officer answered ‘today, dear sir’. Raslan in turn replied that they should ‘hand him [the corpse] out on Saturday, because of the Friday prayers tomorrow’. According to the witness, Raslan further asked the officer ‘what idiot did this’. The witness came to the conclusion that they were talking about a detainee who died in custody, and that Raslan was signing papers to hand over the corpse.

Wiedner cited from the BKA’s transcript, according to which the witness said that Raslan signed a document and told the officer not to ‘hand him out today, because of the Friday prayers tomorrow’. The witness said she did not know what the conversation was about, but she put everything in context and concluded that Raslan just signed a death certificate. Knappmann confirmed, adding that the witness said that she was scared in this situation. She further said that Raslan was silent for a while after the officer left. He then asked her whether she was scared. According to the witness, she denied, saying that she was sad. Raslan replied that in ‘such chaotic times, the good ones as well as the bad ones die.’

Wiedner asked about another situation when a third person entered Raslan’s office [during his conversation with the witness]. Knappmann said there was indeed another instance when a young officer with rolled up sleeves entered the room. The witness described that he was out of breath and told Raslan ‘mission accomplished, dear sir.’ Knappmann said the witness remembered that Raslan thanked him. She further said that the young officer looked like he just tortured someone.

Wiedner wanted to know whether the witness mentioned anything about her memory. Knappmann affirmed, explaining that the witness sometimes mentioned that certain situations were burnt in her memory. In these situations, she was able to remember many details.

Wiedner cited from the BKA’s transcript, indicating that Knappmann and his colleague asked the witness to provide more detail about how she identified the person as Anwar Raslan and how she knew his name. Knappmann said they indeed asked her how she knew that this person was called Anwar Raslan. She replied that she cannot say for sure when she found out his name, however, she was sure that she knew his name when she was still in Syria. She was not sure whether she got to know his name during their conversation and provided Knappmann and his colleague three options for how she got to know his name. He either introduced himself or there was a sign with his name on the door or desk. A third option would be that the person who called her might have mentioned Raslan’s name when he told her to come to Al-Khatib. The witness also remembered that Raslan gave her his number at the end of their conversation. She therefore must have known his name at this point.

Wiedner cited from the BKA’s transcript confirming what Knappmann just said. Wiedner then asked him whether this passage was also re-translated to the witness. Knappmann affirmed.

Wiedner asked whether the witness was in contact with Raslan at a later point as well. Knappmann recalled the witness telling him that she got to know about Raslan’s defection at the end of 2012. He then contacted her via Facebook messenger in 2015. She first thought it would be a fake profile, but he mentioned their conversation [they had in Al-Khatib]. However, the witness did not react to his messages and at the time the BKA interviewed her, she could not remember the content of Raslan’s messages.

Wiedner wanted to know whether Knappmann also asked the witness to identify the person whom she had the conversation with, in Al-Khatib. Knappmann explained that he and his colleague showed her the already mentioned photos a second time, explicitly asking her to identify the person with whom she had the conversation, without connecting it to a certain name. The witness again identified the person in the second picture [Raslan], explaining that he was a bit thicker and his skin a bit brighter back then. She also said that he was a bit taller than her, however, not much.

Wiedner wanted to know what happened after this identification. Knappmann said they then asked the witness about Eyad Al-Gharib.

Wiedner asked about the external circumstances of the witness’s conversation with Raslan at Al-Khatib Branch. Knappmann explained that when asked about when and where the conversation took place, the witness said it happened between ten and fifteen days after the demonstration and took around three hours.

Wiedner concluded that it was in April 2012. Knappmann confirmed, adding that it was after her first arrest.

Wiedner wanted to know whether the witness followed the news about Raslan. Knappmann said the witness did not follow up on Raslan’s fate, nor did she hear any news about him, as she told the BKA.

Wiedner said that for the purpose of the present trial, the section of the witness’s interview that dealt with Al-Gharib does not have to be assessed in court. He instead asked Knappmann whether he and his colleague asked the witness additional questions about Raslan towards the end of their interview. Knappmann said that as usual at the end of a witness interview, they asked the witness whether there was anything else that she would like to talk about and that they did not yet ask her. She told them that she was under the impression that Raslan somehow tried to help her by mentioning all the places where she could not find her car. However, she immediately added that she is sure he participated in the crimes committed in the Branch by virtue of his position.

Prosecutors’ Questioning

Prosecutor Klinge recalled that the witness described Raslan’s height. He asked Knappmann how tall the witness said Raslan was. Knappmann said they did not ask her to provide a number. He recalled that the witness said that Raslan was a bit taller than her. Knappmann further explained that the witness was neither particularly small nor tall. If he was to tell a number, it could be 10cm too much or too small. The only thing he could say is that the witness was smaller than himself, he noted that when they were talking during a break. He would be 1.85m.

Klinge asked whether the witness said anything about her ethnicity. Knappmann said she told them she was Alawite, however living a rather secular live.

Defense Counsels’ Questioning

Defense Counsel Fratzky recalled the witness saying that Raslan gave her his number. Fratzky said that this would be rather unusual. He assumed that Knappmann did not give the witness his number after their interview. Fratzky wanted to know whether Knappmann therefore asked the witness about the purpose of Raslan giving her his number. Knappmann explained that according to the witness, Raslan told her that she should contact him. She felt like he wanted to help her in some way.

Fratzki asked whether Knappmann and his colleague did not ask the witness further questions about her feeling that Raslan tried to help her. Knappmann denied.

Defense Counsel Böcker said his colleague’s questions actually led to another question on his side. Referring to the witness’s feeling that Raslan tried to help her, Böcker asked Knappmann whether the witness was able to tell what Knappmann and his colleague intended with their questions and whether she was able to follow them. Knappmann said this would be a very general question. The witness was always able to follow and answer their questions. However, he was not under the impression that she had special skills in telling the purpose of specific questions. Knappmann said he does not know what Böcker actually wanted to know from him.

Böcker replied by saying that he himself did not exactly know that. He recalled again that the witness felt like Raslan wanted to help her. Böcker said this would be a subjective assumption and asked Knappmann whether there were any objective indicators to allow for such a conclusion. Knappmann said he could only recall what the witness told the BKA. He did not ask further questions about this matter. However, as soon as she mentioned that she felt like Raslan wanted to help her, she also added that she was sure he participated in the crimes in Al-Khatib. Knappmann added that the BKA knew from other witnesses that Raslan apparently “had a foible” for artists. However, the witness did not mention anything in this direction.

Böcker wanted to know whether the witness actually found her car at the Air Force Intelligence. Knappmann said they did not talk about her car in detail. When asked about the fate of her friend [who drove her car] she said that he was detained at the Air Force Intelligence.

Defense counsel Fratzky recalled that the witness who told the BKA about his friend did not know about the details of her conversation with Raslan. Knappmann affirmed, adding that he could not say anything concrete about it.

Prosecutor Klinge referred to Knappmann’s statement about Raslan’s foible for artists and wanted to know whether the BKA spoke with other witnesses (artists) that were contacted by Raslan. Knappmann affirmed, adding that they however did not prepare any specific questions for them. He recalled a witness telling the BKA that he received privileged treatment [at Branch 251] and that Raslan contacted him to ask about his well-being. This witness literally said that he ‘received a five-star-treatment’.

None of the Plaintiff Counsels had any questions for Knappmann.

Knappmann was dismissed for the day.

The proceedings adjourned at 10:40 AM.

Next hearings will take place on April 7, 2021.

 

_______________________________________

[1]          Throughout this report, [information located in brackets are notes from our trial monitor] and “information placed in quotes are statements made by the witness, judges or counsel.” Note that this report does not purport to be a transcript of the trial; it is merely an unofficial summary of the proceedings. The names of witnesses have been redacted.

[2]          Note from the Trial Monitor: Since the interpreter who previously assisted Eyad Al-Gharib’s defense, stepped in for one of the court interpreters, Judge Kerber read out instructions to him regarding his role and obligation when acting as linguistic expert, assessing the quality and correctness of translations in court.

[3]          Note from the Trial Monitor: For the purpose of this report, the term “witness” will be used to describe the person who Inspector Knappmann interviewed as part of the BKA’s investigations into Raslan’s and Al-Gharib’s cases. The actual witness of this court session, Criminal Chief Inspector Knappmann, will be called by his name.

 

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