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Koblenz Trial 30.09.2021: Clarification from police investigator about Firas Al-Shater’s testimony and his acquaintance with « accused » Anwar Raslan

Written By Luna Watfa
Translated to English by Diane Lockyer

Report on the hearing on 30th September 2021 with the criminal police investigator, who had previously taken the witness’s statements and the civil plaintiff, Mr. Firas Al-Shater, at the request of the defense attorneys for the accused concerning certain statements during the witness’s testimony before the court on 25 August 2021.

Firas Al-Shater said that an error occurred in the written protocol of his testimony to the criminal police not having noticed it or corrected it. The content of this error is summarized as follows:

Firas Al-Shater had seen a picture of the accused from media and not from the lawyer Anwar al-Bunni, but his statements documented in the protocol with the criminal police stated he had seen  it while working on a film about al-Bunni, when the latter showed it to him.

The criminal police investigator noted that the witness had recognized the accused’s picture from among the pictures of likenesses he had been shown and when the police asked him where exactly he recognized the “accused”, he replied that he had seen the picture in the media and also he remembered it from when he was prison. However, he was not able to confirm that the person was the accused himself to one hundred percent. The criminal police investigator then added he understood from the witness he had seen it thanks to Al-Bunni before seeing it on the media.

Because of the importance this point raised in terms of discussions on social media sites, Mr. Al-Shater responded to it with a comment on his Facebook site, saying:

 “One thing that differed from my words and those of the investigator is that his job has nothing to do with the course of events and my arrest but rather how I was summoned to testify and why I was summoned. I became one of the plaintiffs against Anwar Raslan.”

“I simply made a documentary film about Professor Anwar Al-Bunni’s job for about a year and a half. The film was based on his job and the pursuit of criminals here. The accused’s lawyers tried to make the story personal… and that, in agreement with Anwar Al-Bunni, I had been trying to implicate Anwar Raslan for a long time.”

“I told the police Anwar al-Bunni had seen my pictures after I was arrested and tortured, and what I looked like at the time, and I myself wanted to be a prosecutor without needing anyone’s help or incitement.”

“In the protocol, the police wrote that the lawyer Anwar al-Bunni and Rajani had a picture of Anwar Raslan and asked me if I knew him and asked me if I would like to include an invitation to him, which are two completely different stories. Unfortunately I did not pay attention to the sentence in the police papers because the protocol contained 55 pages long and full of my words in German. In this case, a person is quite likely not to pay attention to a line or a sentence. There was obviously a misunderstanding.”

 It is worth noting that when witnesses read the protocol after taking their statements with the criminal police, they may correct some errors in the protocol as a result of hearing incorrectly or the translation. Indeed, handwritten corrections to their statements were previously shown in the courtroom.

After the judges’ interrogation of the criminal police investigator, the defense lawyers for the accused submitted two new requests to summon two witnesses in favour of the accused. The first relied on the accused while he was at work helping him with his release process. The second witness sent two people from the Free Army to help the accused defect which could confirm the latter’s positive role in the opposition as the defense attorneys noted in their request.