The mammoth trial of the Reemtsma kidnapper Thomas Drach (62) was actually on the home stretch, but now it came to a head. Video expert George A. Rauscher wants to quit after the defense did not leave a good hair on him. “They destroy me,” says the expert to the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”, he feels hatred. Last week he is said to have offered a journalist money for well-meaning reporting. Rauscher denies the allegation.
Cologne: meeting in front of the court cafeteria
The current incident is said to have taken place last Thursday during a break in the process in front of the cafeteria of the Cologne district court on the first floor. According to the freelance journalist, who reports on the ongoing Drach trial for various media, expert Rauscher is said to have specifically addressed him and handed him a 100 euro note – so that he wouldn’t look so bad in his articles leave, he is said to have said, in essence.
The reporter refused and said that he could not be bought. Rauscher is said to have said that it was meant more as a tip, which he also gives to waiters and shoeshine boys. “I’m not a shoeshine boy,” the journalist is said to have said, according to the “Kölnischer Rundschau”. The appraiser put the bill back in his pocket. The journalist then reported the alleged incident to the public prosecutor in the Drach trial.
The prosecutor then wrote a note and sent it to the court. The jury wrote to the expert with a request for comment. With the result that Rauscher declared himself biased due to psychological pressure from the defenders. Means he wants out of the process. The presiding judge Jörg Michael Bern wants to work through the process next Friday in a public hearing.
Drach expert denies the allegation
In an interview with the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”, Rauscher denies having offered the journalist money. He is said to have merely asked the reporter “not to write shit” with reference to the disrespectful shelling of the defense during the hearing. The reporter then became short-tempered and said: “I’m a freelance journalist and write what I think is right.”
During the trial, the defense attorneys repeatedly shot at the expert. “We don’t have to listen to such nonsense,” said Drach’s lawyer Andreas Kerkhof when it came to the hairline on a surveillance video – even though the perpetrator had a cap on. Despite a decision and repeated references to it from Judge Bern, Rauscher was unable to provide his report in one go due to constant heckling.
Appraiser is also active in the Gil Ofarim case
The video expert, who is also active in the case of singer Gil Ofarim, had previously named Drach as a “very likely” perpetrator in two alleged robberies, because of the same features on the head and the conspicuous gait due to his knock-knees. If Rauscher fails, a whole chain of evidence breaks down. The court would have to seek a new expert who would need a lot of lead time. The expensive Drach process would therefore be much longer.
“I drive ten hours to the trial and then I’ll be disassembled,” says the expert from Starnberg, who fears for his reputation. “In Bavaria, such conditions are unthinkable,” the Cologne court did not protect him. “Of course we fight with hard bandages,” says attorney Kerkhof, after all, everything is at stake for the client, preventive detention is imminent. Kerkhof considers the appraiser to be “technically and personally unsuitable”.