20 March 2011

Report from Day 19 - 28 February 2011

Today Detective B. Walther from the German Federal Criminal Office (BKA) is giving evidence. 

Walther only has limited permission to give evidence, which means that he can't answer questions relating to operational matters. 

He and a colleague had travelled to Dubai in order to secure evidence on the Taipan. They accompanied a team of the Dubai police on board on three days in April 2010. The Dubai police collected the evidence, Walther and his colleague just documented it. At one stage they used metal rods, which they pushed through bullet holes in order to determine the angle of the shots. 

According to Walther, the majority of the damage was the result of gun fire, and mainly around the bridge. There were also blood stains and naked foot prints. Some of the damage had been repaired temporarily. They had contact to the crew, who continued to give them pieces of evidence, which Walther handed over to the Dubai police. 

They did not examine any of the weapons on site. That only happened after they had been sent to Germany. By that time it was no longer possible to take fingerprints because Dutch crew had handled them without gloves and the guns were all rusty from being exposed to sea air. The weapons were: 5 machine guns, 2 rocket propelled grenades (RPG), 2 hand guns, 2 knives and one cricket bat. 

The photos the two German police officers took are shown on monitors in the court room. The judge notes that there are no photos of damage from large calibre weapons, like RPGs, which were shown to the court by the second officer of the Taipan. When asked why they didn't document these significant damages, Walther replies that it wasn't part of their brief.