NSU defendant Carsten S. has refused to answer questions from his co-defendant's attorney. The move came after several days of cooperation in court, including revealing possible NSU-links to a 1999 bombing.
Thursday's proceedings in a high-profile neo-Nazi trial, being held in Munich's upper regional court, reached an impasse when the attorney of defendant, Ralf Wohlleben, tried to put questions to Carsten S., a defendant who has willingly provided detailed testimony to the court for several days.
Both Wohlleben (pictured above) and Carsten S. have been charged with aiding and abetting the alleged members of an underground right-wing group, the National Socialist Underground (NSU).
Carsten S.,33, has confessed to providing the gun authorities believe was used by the NSU trio in nine racially-motivated murders between 2000 and 2007. He has also painted himself as a middle man between Wohlleben and the alleged NSU members, Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe. He claims to have left the far-right scene in 2000.
According to Carsten S.' testimony, Wohlleben asked him to acquire a gun with a silencer.
On Thursday, Carsten S. said he would only answer questions from Wohlleben's attorney, Olaf Klemke, if Wohlleben took the stand and finally testified, which he has thus far refused to do.
"This isn't about just me divulging what I know [about the NSU], he has to, too," said Carsten S.
Defense attorney Klemke called S.' attempt to set conditions "blackmail."
"I don't believe it," said Klemke. "We won't let ourselves be blackmailed. We have a ton of questions [to ask him]."
Carsten S.' attorney, Jacob Hösl, said in response: "We also have a ton of questions."
Since the trial began, Beate Zschäpe, 38, the only known surviving member of the NSU, has also refused to testify. She has been charged as an accomplice in the murder of nine men - among them eight of Turkish origin and one of Greek origin - and a police woman.
German investigators had failed to link the series of murders to the right-wing scene until the apparent suicide of the other two alleged NSU members, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, in November 2011.
kms/jm (AFP, dpa)