Zschäpe's move puts NSU trial in doubt
The National Socialist Underground trial in Munich hangs in the balance after the main defendant, Beate Zschäpe, indicated she wanted to dismiss her entire legal team.
Zschäpe told one of the courtroom guards she wanted to dismiss her three lawyers - Wolfgang Heer, Anja Sturm and Wolfgang Stahl, judge Manfred Götzl announced on Wednesday afternoon before the Higher Regional Court of Munich.
As a result, the ongoing interrogation of witness and former neo-Nazi Tino Brandt was put on hold.
Zschäpe, with the help of four supposed supporters also on trial, allegedly planned and executed a series of ten murders through the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground terrorist group over the course of ten years.
Two members of the NSU, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, committed suicide in 2011 before they were arrested.
The trial was postponed until next Tuesday, and Zschäpe has been given until next Thursday to explain her reasons for the dismissal.
If the court allows her to dismiss her public defenders she will have to search for a new team which could lead to the collapse of the current trial. A trial cannot be suspended for more than 30 days and the new team would need time to read the hundreds of documents around the case.
According to news agency dpa, the 39-year-old fell out with her counsel over testifying. Apparently she wants to finally break her silence in court, but her legal team are advising her against doing so.
The trial began in May 2013 and has sat for 128 days.