Former Baader-Meinhof cell member arrested

29th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Officers seized Verena Becker for complicity in the shooting of chief federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback on April 7, 1977, during the bloody era which became known as the "German Autumn."

Berlin -- German prosecutors said on Friday they had arrested a former member of the left-wing extremist group, the Baader-Meinhof gang, over a murder committed 32 years ago.

Officers from the federal crime bureau seized Verena Becker, 57, on Thursday for complicity in the shooting of chief federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback on April 7, 1977, during the bloody era which became known as the "German Autumn."

"Following our investigations until now, there is no suspicion that the accused fired the deadly shots," prosecutors said, adding however that she is suspected of "an active role in preparing and carrying out" the attack.

The case was re-opened in April 2008 when investigators used the latest forensic technology to examine the letter sent claiming responsibility for the murder.

This investigation enabled the authorities to identify Becker's DNA on the letter, leading them to raid her house last week, where they secured other incriminating evidence.

Becker was already sentenced to life behind bars in December 1977 for taking part in at least six assassination attempts claimed by the group, otherwise known as the Red Army Faction, but was pardoned in 1989 and released.

Earlier this week in an interview with mass circulation daily Bild, Becker denied taking part in the attack on Buback's chauffeur-driven car.

The gang, known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang after its founders Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, mounted a violent campaign against what it considered was the oppressive capitalist state of West Germany from 1977 to 1982.

It targeted the German elite and the US military bases in Germany and is suspected of killing 34 people. The group officially disbanded in 1998.

AFP/Expatica

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