Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Germany vs Sweden: Prosecution Witnesses Part 1

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

First of all, we at the Boston Blickbild send our condolences to the families of those who were killed in the Boston Marathon bombings. We also wish a full and speedy recovery to those who were injured. The Germany versus Sweden witch doctor kidnapping trial in Ulan Bator, Mongolia has begun and both sides have presented their opening statements. It is now time for the prosecution to call its witnesses. The first witness is German technical team trainer Christian Schwaiger. Instead of our usual interview format, we will print a transcript of Schwaiger's testimony. Also, because Mongolian names are extremely difficult for Westerners to pronounce, we will refer to the prosecutor as "Germany" and the defense attorney as "Sweden."

Germany: Please state your name and occupation for the record.
Schwaiger: Christian Schwaiger, German women's Alpine skiing national technical team trainer.
Germany: Tell the court why your ski team has a witch doctor
Schwaiger: Two of our skiers, Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Lena Duerr, had inconsistent performances last season. We tried psychologists, other therapists, and even an exorcist. But nothing worked. We decided to try a witch doctor as a last resort.
Germany: Isn't it unusual for a ski team to have a witch doctor?
Schwaiger: Yes. But other teams have followed our lead and also have witch doctors. I know that France and Italy also have team witch doctors.
Germany: When did you first notice that Dr. Mabongo was missing?
Schwaiger: It was the morning of Saturday 9 February. I went downstairs to the breakfast room and Dr. Mabongo was not there.
Germany: Couldn't he have been in his room at that time?
Schwaiger: No. Dr. Mabongo was usually the first person in the breakfast room. Every day prior to that Saturday, he was already eating breakfast when I would arrive.
Germany: What did you do when you saw that Dr. Mabongo was not in the breakfast room?
Schwaiger: I went to his room to see if he was still there. When I got to his room, I saw a note on his door.
Germany: Did you take the note or leave it on the door?
Schwaiger: I took the note and read it, thinking it might be something that Dr. Mabongo left for me or the other trainers.
Germany: What did the note say?
Schwaiger: It was a ransom note.
Sweden: Objection! Witness is speculating!
Judge: Sustained.
Germany: Mr. Schwaiger, simply tell the court what the note said.
Schwaiger: It said, "Ha ha ha! We have your witch doctor. If you want to see him again, you must give us the following: one million euros in small bills, 1000 Milka chocolate bars in various flavors, and 50 purple Milka cows." In addition the note said that we should arrange for Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Lena Duerr to have DNFs in their remaining races at the World Championships.
Germany: Here is a copy of the note, Your Honor. (hands the judge a piece of paper). Mr. Schwaiger, please tell the court what DNF means.
Schwaiger: Did Not Finish. In other words, we had to tell Maria and Lena to fall or ski out before the finish line in their races.
Germany: After you read the note, what did you do with it?
Schwaiger: I held onto it for a short time, made a copy of it, then turned it over to the police.
Germany: You decided it was best for the police to find the kidnapper?
Sweden: Objection! There is no evidence that the witch doctor was kidnapped!
Germany: I'll rephrase the question. Tell the court why you gave the note to the police.
Schwaiger: Dr. Mabongo was missing and there was a note saying that someone had him. I felt that the police were the best ones to figure out who wrote the note.
Germany: That is all from this witness Your Honor.
Judge: We will take a 1 hour recess and then the defense will question Mr. Schwaiger.
(one hour later)
Judge: Mr. Schwaiger, I want to remind you that you are still under oath. Cross-examination can proceed.
Sweden: Mr. Schwaiger, you said that you noticed that Dr. Mabongo was missing on Saturday morning.
Schwaiger: That is correct.
Sweden: Yet you waited until the next afternoon to go to the police. Tell the court why.
Schwaiger: Maria Hoefl-Riesch had become dependent on Dr. Mabongo and his therapy. She had just won a gold medal in the women's combined event and was scheduled to ski in the downhill race on Sunday. I did not want to upset her, or the rest of the team, with the news about Dr. Mabongo's disappearance. I waited until Maria won a bronze medal in the downhill race to break the news to the team.
Sweden: Isn't the real reason you waited over a day to report Dr. Mabongo's disappearance is because you knew he ran away because he was being abused by the team?
Germany: Objection!
Judge: Sustained.
Sweden: When Dr. Mabongo was discovered, he had unusual cuts and scars on his back and legs. Can you explain how they got there?
Schwaiger: No. I imagine they were from his voodoo or tribal rituals.
Sweden: I will take that answer as no. Mr. Schwaiger, in what language was the note that you found on Dr. Mabongo's door written?
Schwaiger: German.
Sweden: Was it written the way a native German speaker would write, or the way someone who learned German as a foreign language would write?
Schwaiger: It was written how a native German speaker would write.
Sweden: I see. And what is the national language of Sweden?
Schwaiger: Swedish. But a lot of Swedish people learn German in school.
Sweden: You just said that the national language of Sweden is Swedish. (slight pause)  Did the German Ski Federation refuse to provide Dr. Mabongo with warm clothing?
Schwaiger: No! It was his choice to wear only a loincloth and go barefoot.
Sweden: It is considered neglect not to provide someone in your care with warm clothing in the winter. 
Schwaiger: Dr. Mabongo was never neglected. We gave him everything that he wanted or needed.
Sweden: Oh really? Did you provide him with the same foods that he ate in the Congo?
Schwaiger: No, but---
Sweden: So you didn't provide him with his normal diet or warm clothing. That sounds like abuse or neglect to me. It sounds like the good doctor had valid reasons to run away. That is all the questions I have for this witness, Your Honor.

And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive report.

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