Germany tries woman in Baader-Meinhof murder

30th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A German woman went on trail Thursday for conspiring to murder the country's most senior prosecutor during a campaign of terror by the extreme left Baader-Meinhof gang in late 1970s.

Fifty-eight year old Verena Becker, a former member of the murderous "anti-imperialist" outfit, also known to Germans as the Red Army Faction, is accused of involvement in the murder of Siegfried Buback.

Buback was killed along with two others when a still unidentified person on the back of a motorcycle sprayed his chauffeur-driven limousine with bullets on April 7, 1977 in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe.

It was one of several Baader-Meinhof operations in what became known as the "German Autumn", the peak of the urban guerrilla outfit's bloody campaign against what it considered the oppressive West German capitalist state.

The same year, it shot dead the head of Dresdner Bank and kidnapped and killed industry federation head Hanns Martin Schleyer. In October a Palestinian gang with links to Baader-Meinhof hijacked a Lufthansa aircraft.

Becker was sentenced to life in prison in 1977 for other Baader-Meinhof activities, but pardoned and freed after 12 years. Her involvement in Buback's death was never proved and the case was closed in 1980.

But it was reopened in 2008 after new forensic technology allegedly turned up traces of Becker's DNA on a letter by the gang claiming responsibility for the killing of Buback.

Becker was re-arrested in August 2009, released on bail in December and charged in April with "conspiracy" to murder. She is not accused of firing the fatal shots. A verdict is expected in late December.

© 2010 AFP

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