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Germany

Former RAF Terrorist Refuses Job Due to Alleged Harassment

Christian Klar, the former co-leader of the Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorist organization, has refused a trainee job at a taxpayer-funded Berlin theater claiming that an aggressive media campaign is targeting him.

Former RAF terrorist Christian Klar

Klar claims that media interest in his post-prison life prevents him from taking the job

Klar was freed on parole on December 19 after serving 26 years of a life sentence for nine murders he committed as a left wing urban terrorist in the 1970s and 1980s.

The offer of a sought-after theater technician's job to the former dropout by Klaus Peymann, director of the Berliner Ensemble, a theatre which receives most of its budget in state grants, angered many, since Klar has never expressed contrition.

Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit suggested it was just a publicity stunt by the theatre. A Berlin newspaper ran a front page Friday showing Klar, who now lives in Berlin, standing outside the theatre.

Lawyer Heinz-Juergen Schneider said Klar had relinquished the opportunity because of the "continuing, aggressive campaign in the media" against his client.

The city of Berlin said through a spokesman that the outcome was "sensible."

The lawyer said Klar was also suing BZ for breach of privacy. Klar would look for a less prominent job in Berlin.

Germany's ordeal as the terrorists assassinated, bombed and robbed came to the big screen last year with the release of an action film, The Baader Meinhof Complex, named after the terrorist group's late founders, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof.

Ignes Ponto, widow of one of RAF's victims, failed Friday in a lawsuit demanding changes to the film.

She watched Klar shoot dead her husband Juergen Ponto in the entrance to their home in 1977 after the couple had opened the door to a young woman friend who had joined the terrorists.

The state court in Cologne said artistic license was allowed and rejected Ponto's complaint that the scene was depicted inaccurately and sensationalized.

She was so upset by the film, which Germany's film export board has nominated for an Oscar, that she sent back a German government honor, the cross of merit, which she received for her resilience after the assassination.

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