20 March 2011

Report from day 18 - 23 February 2011, afternoon

The age report for the youngest defendant is read out. The x-ray examination has resulted in an estimated age of 12 - 23 years (+/- 2 years). The analysis of wisdom teeth has resulted in an estimate of 25 years of age. 

Then a psychological report about the defendant is read out, which says that he is mature enough to distinguish right from wrong and to act accordingly. The result is that he no longer gets bail.

Defence counsel Jung submits an application to dismiss the work of the expert witness Dr Fuhrmann, who was involved in the process of age determination. Furhmann had described in a public newsletter in 2002 how to write a report about a person's age in a way that makes it hard to be challenged in court. A report should be written in a way that removes any doubt about the procedures, in order to ensure the integrity of the expert. For the defence, this proves that the aim was not to establish the correct age of the accused but rather to defend the expertise. Monetary gain was the driving motive. 

The minutes of the hearing in June was read out, in which the defendants complain about being locked in single cells. In Holland, and even on the Dutch frigate, they were kept together. They experienced the isolation as special hardship. 

The defence also point out that the accused have fear of being executed in Germany, and ask the judge to explain officially that there is no capital punishment in German law in order to remove their fears.