Fresh Probe Into 1977 Murder German Judge Orders Re-Arrest of Former RAF Terrorists

A German federal court has ruled that two former Red Army Faction terrorists released after serving long jail sentences be re-arrested because they are refusing to testify into a fresh investigation into their crimes.


From left to right: Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Christian Klar and Knut Folkerts.

From left to right: Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Christian Klar and Knut Folkerts.

A German federal court has ruled that three former members of the Red Army Faction, the left-wing guerrilla group that waged a campaign of kidnappings and murders in the 1970s, be jailed for up to six months because they have refused to testify in a fresh probe into a 1977 killing.

The Federal Court of Justice said Brigitte Mohnhaupt and Knut Folkerts, who both served long sentences, be taken into custody for up to six months as part of an investigation into the April 7, 1977, killing of Siegfried Buback, West Germany's top prosecutor at the time, and into a rocket attack on the headquarters of the federal prosecutor's office.

The third former RAF member, Christian Klar, who is still serving a life sentence, was also covered by the court ruling because he too refused to testify.

However, the arrest order will not immediately be enforced because the three are expected to appeal, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Prosecutors said they sought the ruling after the three refused to give information as part of the investigation, although they had no legal right to withhold answers.

Their refusal to name accomplices is typical of former RAF terrorists, most of whom have refused to shed light on who organized the attacks and who was involved in carrying them out. To this day authorities don't know who killed Employers Federation President Hanns Martin Schleyer, who was murdered by the RAF weeks after they took him hostage.

Brigitte Mohnhaupt, a leader of the Red Army Faction (RAF), was released on parole less than a year ago. The other, Knut Folkerts, was paroled in 1995 after serving part of a life term for the murder of Buback.

Mohnhaupt was also involved in Buback's murder. She was a leading figure in the RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, a communist grouping that emerged from the 1968 student protest movement and was bent on overthrowing the capitalist establishment, which it felt had been infiltrated by former Nazis.

cro/dpa/AP

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