Germany frees last Red Army Faction prisoner

21st June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany announced Tuesday the release of the last member behind bars of the Red Army Faction that terrorised the country in the 1970s and 1980s, Birgit Hogefeld.

Hogefeld, 54, was freed on Monday from Frankfurt-Preungesheim open prison in western Germany after 18 years behind bars after being sentenced in 1996 to life imprisonment, a spokesman for the Hesse state justice ministry said.

"She was released at 9:00 am (0700 GMT) on June 20," spokesman Hans Liedel said.

She had been convicted on four counts of murder for the death of three Americans and a German police officer and 10 of attempted murder in relation to a number of other RAF attacks in the 1980s.

Hogefeld was a key figure in the so-called third generation of the RAF, the murderous "anti-imperialist" extremist outfit also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang after its original founders Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof.

Her dramatic arrest in June 1993 came after a shoot-out with police in Bad Kleinen, northeast Germany, in which her partner Wolfgang Grams, with whom she had been on the run for a decade, died, together with a police officer.

Germany may yet jail another RAF member, however, with Verena Becker currently on trial -- although she is on bail -- for her alleged role in the 1977 killing of West Germany's top prosecutor.

© 2011 AFP

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