Minister orders probe into 1977 terrorist killing

23rd April 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 April 2007, Berlin (dpa) - German officials said Monday they would investigate claims the security services withheld information surrounding the murder of a federal prosecutor by Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorists 30 years ago. Separate inquiries would be undertaken by the interior ministry and the office of Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms, spokespersons for the interior and justice ministries said in Berlin. The claims relate to the April 1977 slaying of chief prosecutor Siegfried Buback, one of a serie

23 April 2007

Berlin (dpa) - German officials said Monday they would investigate claims the security services withheld information surrounding the murder of a federal prosecutor by Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorists 30 years ago.

Separate inquiries would be undertaken by the interior ministry and the office of Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms, spokespersons for the interior and justice ministries said in Berlin.

The claims relate to the April 1977 slaying of chief prosecutor Siegfried Buback, one of a series of RAF murders that rocked West Germany in what became known as "the German autumn."

Three members of the RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, were convicted of the Buback killing, among them Knut Folkerts, but it never became clear who fired the fatal shots.

A report that appeared in the news magazine Der Spiegel on Monday quoted former RAF members Verena Becker and Silke Maier-Witt as saying Folkerts was not involved in the killing.

The two women told the magazine that federal police investigators and the domestic intelligence service had been aware for more than 20 years of statements which could have exonerated Folkerts, who was released from prison in 1995.

One of those convicted for the murder, Christian Klar, remains in prison and has applied for a presidential pardon. Brigitte Mohnhaupt, found guilty as an accomplice, was released last month after serving 24 years.

Buback's son, Michael, said last week that he might support Klar's clemency appeal after receiving new information which suggested he didn't carry out the killing.

The Spiegel report suggested the fatal shots were fired by Stefan Wisniewski, who was not charged in the case, but who served 20 years in prison for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of employers organization president Hanns-Martin Schleyer.

The parliamentary watchdog that oversees the intelligence services is to discuss the matter on Wednesday, following calls by German politicians over the weekend for the case to be re-opened.

The 1977 assassination of Buback was intended to press for the freeing of imprisoned RAF members, including its co-founder, Andreas Baader.

The RAF, which disbanded in 1998, is suspected of killing 34 people between 1972 and 1991.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article