10 November 2011

Court Report 27 October 2011

After declaring the Sri Lankan crew member of the Taipan 'untraceable', the judge proceeds to read out a transcript of an interview with him, which was conducted by the German federal police in Colombo. One could get the impression that reading out this statement has been the judge's intention for some time, which would explain his luke-warm approach to tracing the sailor's whereabouts.

The transcript - translated by a Sri Lankan employee of the German embassy - contains a description of how the Taipan was attacked, how the crew had to duck on the bridge and then retreat into the safe room. The 'able seaman' claims to have recognised one of the accused on a photo presented to him by the German police.
After the statement is read, several defence counsel object to it: the 'desk officer' was not qualified as a translator, the translation contains the translator's personal interpretation of the events and the statement obviously contradicted other statements made by the captain of the Taipan.

Then the judge proceeds to decline a few applications that were made last time and then concentrates on the personal statement made by one of the accused previously. He reads out a 14 page explanation why the court believes the statement is not credible. It contains every single sentence the accused has said. Some members of the public believe he is practising for the verdict.

After the ordeal, one of the lawyers complains that his client is unable to follow, he is under medication to combat his depression. One night he screamed so loud in his cell that other inmates called for help. The defence objects to him being medicated to enable his attendance in court.

Finally, the judge announces that the remaining evidence from Dubai has arrived - including a pair of flip-flops...