Was he a calm, experienced and reliable colleague or did he often fly off the handle, was he unbalanced and irritable?? On the fifth day of the trial, a contradictory picture of the defendant's character emerged for the judges of the first gross criminal division.
On the witness stand, the former supervisor and colleague of the 55-year-old police officer testified. The man from the district of kronach has been standing trial in coburg district court since mid december on charges of rape, sexual assault and bodily injury.
"There were no difficulties at all, he was a great colleague", said one of the witnesses "he was someone you could rely on and was not too shy for anything." He talked about a "trusting cooperation". Another officer made the same comment: "I went on patrol with him and had only positive experiences during that time. The 55-year-old has never raised his voice on the job, either. A third police officer speaks of a "super relationship". "If one turned to him (…), he was always ready to help you out, no matter when and what it was", he said. The defendant, as a former investigator, had much more experience than he and his colleagues from the patrol. He described the accused as calm and level-headed. A colleague also declared that she had gotten along well with the 55-year-old. "I cannot say anything negative."
This testimony was sought for clarification by prosecutor jana huber and the two representatives of the joint plaintiff, kristina freifrau von imhoff and wolfram schadler, who represent the third wife and another woman involved in the case. Schadler even suspected the former colleague of collusion, because she had spoken intensively with one of the witnesses from the police station.
Another witness, who also spoke only of positive experiences with the defendant, was held up by the presiding judge michael imhof to his original statements to the police. "There they described that he was very quick-tempered. I am surprised that you see things differently today." He explained the discrepancy to his earlier statements with a "certain (investigative) pressure" of the colleagues who investigated the 55-year-old in the case. Moreover, it had happened only once that the defendant had reacted in a hot-tempered manner on duty, he emphasized several times. "That was a slip." In his police statement, he only wants to refer to this one case. He got a reprimand from the prosecutor, who questioned his statement: "don't pressure me during the interrogation. You are a trained police officer", she said, "you have to be able to handle an interrogation situation like that."
Fond of women
The accused had constantly received whatsapp messages and phone calls, reported one of the former colleagues who had been on patrol with him. The cell phone beeped about 50 times a day. The 55-year-old had to constantly justify himself to his wife, who probably did not believe that her husband was at work. "He told me that she was extremely jealous." He described the defendant as a man who was fond of women and "a hit with women" he said. On duty he noticed that many women found him attractive.
Other police officers also reported receiving calls from suspicious, sometimes hysterical women. One of the women was like "schmidt's cat" shouting through the phone. He was unable to confirm who had called and whether it had been the third wife, as claimed by the defendant.
"I have never seen him become violent or physical. That he sometimes became louder is in the nature of things, if only because of our profession", another police officer testified about the defendant. The officer told of a case he had investigated 13 years ago in which the defendant had been charged with assault. At that time, the 55-year-old had grabbed a man by the neck with both hands. That there had been proceedings against the defendant at that time was new to the witness.
A completely different picture
The former police officer was transferred twice within the department, first from the field to the office. A former superior, who painted a completely different picture of the accused than his colleagues, could only speculate as to why this was so. That was probably to avoid confrontation, he explained. "Drauben" he said that it was easier for escalations to occur with the 55-year-old, but that in the office, the dust had usually settled. The defendant had worked on his orders properly and reliably, he stated, but had occasionally caused difficulties because he was "rather moody".
He then described another case in which a friend of the defendant had approached him with intimate details. He had referred them to the police station in coburg. He did not make a note of the case. Due to further complications with an acquaintance of the accused and his third wife – in connection with which a complaint of bodily harm was filed against the girlfriend – the 55-year-old was finally transferred to another duty station. "It was no longer possible to work in a spirit of trust.", the chairman declared. The prosecutor quoted the testimony of a second superior: "he testified that he had only seen the defendant running through the office with his head still red and screaming." The witness puts it into perspective: "it wasn't a permanent state of affairs."