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Germany

Former RAF Head Christian Klar to Go Free in January

After 26 years, Christian Klar, one of the last members of the Red Army Faction to remain in prison, is set to be released come January.

Recent headshot of Christian Klar

Christian Klar was a leader of the RAF

The announcement of Klar's release came Monday, Nov. 24, after a court in Stuttgart decided that the 56-year-old former terrorist no longer posed a threat. He has been in prison since 1982 and was given a life sentence in 1985 on nine counts of murder.

One of the leading figures of the second generation of the Red Army Faction (RAF), a left-wing group that committed acts of terrorism in Germany throughout the 70s and early 80s, Klar was sentenced for his role in the kidnapping and murder of industry representative Hanns Martin Schleyer as well as the murders of Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback and Dresdner Bank CEO Juergen Ponto.

Klar charged with all RAF crimes

Film scene in which two men pull a suited man out of the trunk of a 1970s Mercedes

Hanns Martin Schleyer's kidnapping was re-enacted in the recent "Baader-Meinhof Komplex" film

Though important details of the murders remain unclear, Klar, along with fellow RAF member Brigitte Mohnhaupt, was given a collective sentence for all RAF crimes committed after 1977.

He was given six life sentences plus fifteen years in prison.

Ten years ago, a Stuttgart court determined that because of Klar's "especial severity of guilt," he had to remain in prison for at least 26 years.

Klar, who had previously been denied a pardon in 2007, is set to go free on January 3, 2009. He will remain on parole for five years.

With his release, only one former member of the RAF, Birgit Hogefeld, remains in prison.

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