The defendant, identified only as Carsten S., testified late on Tuesday that he had supplied a weapon to now-deceased NSU members Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, thought to have committed nine racially motivated murders over a decade, and to have killed a German policewoman.
The weapon – a Ceska 83 pistol with silencer and ammunition – was used in nine of the ten murders and was knowingly supplied by Carsten S. for this purpose, said the prosecution - knowledge which the defendant denied.
Carsten S., 33, said he assumed “nothing bad would happen” with the weapon, wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Tuesday, and added that he had a “positive feeling” about what the trio were doing “was ok.”
“I remember it had to be a German make, a handgun with ammunition,” Carsten S. told the court, and said he had received orders from Mundlos and Böhnhardt on the phone, which he then passed onto another alleged accomplice, Ralf Wohlleben.
The prosecution said that the fact that the gun had been supplied with a silencer meant that Carsten S. had known that it would be used aggressively and not as defence, as he maintains. However Carsten S. said that the men had not requested a silencer, he had only sold them one because that was what was available.
The defendant said he had forgotten a lot of what had happened in the thirteen years since he supplied the weapon, including the conversation when he was asked to do so.
“I reckon if I can't remember it it must have been a normal conversation, nothing special,” Carsten S. told the court, according to Der Spiegel. “I would have remembered anything out of the ordinary.”
When asked what he had known about the men and their alleged accomplice Beate Zschäpe, 38, who is also standing trial for complicity in the NSU's crimes, Carsten S. said:
“Nothing. I just knew they were underground or on the run. I didn't know where and how they lived or who was helping them,” he said, according to the magazine.
Carsten S. also said he had helped the trio get hold of a motorbike used in a robbery and had once broken into Zschäpe's old flat to take files and documents which were then destroyed.
“I kind of felt, those poor persecuted [people], you have to help them,” he told the court according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Meanwhile, Zschäpe's lawyers are demanding termination of proceedings, based on what her lawyers say was an illegal pre-trial assumption of guilt, wrote the paper.
The defence point to statements by Chief Federal Prosecutor Harald Range, who they claim repeatedly described Zschäpe as a member of a “gang of killers,” “terrorist organisation” or “terrorist trio” after her arrest in 2011, before the criminal investigation had even begun.
The prosecution's case against Zschäpe, say her defence lawyers, is based on assumptions about her role in the trio and closeness to other the members which have not yet been proved.