German RAF Terrorists Off the Hook for Refusing to Testify | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 15.08.2008
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German RAF Terrorists Off the Hook for Refusing to Testify

Three former RAF terrorists convicted in the 1977 murder of attorney general Siegfried Buback won't have to serve an additional sentence for refusing to give further testimony in the case, ruled Germany's highest court.

Murder scene of Siegfried Buback

Who actually killed Siegfried Buback?

Germany's Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe decided Friday, Aug. 15, that former Red Army Faction terrorists Christian Klar, Brigitte Mohnhaupt and Knut Folkerts would not receive an added prison sentence of up to six months, thus overturning a ruling by the investigating judge.

All three members of the left-wing terrorist group, which was active in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, were convicted for taking part in the murder of Buback and his two companions.

Had the additional sentence been upheld, Klar's time in prison would have been extended. Mohnhaupt and Folkerts, who have already been released, would have returned to prison for coercive detention.

Buback murders reopened

More than 30 years after the Buback murders, an investigation was reopened when RAF defector Peter-Juergen Boock came forward saying that former RAF member Stefan Wisniewski -- not Folkerts, as previously thought -- had pulled the trigger in the Buback murders.

Wisniewski was sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of German business leader Hanns-Martin Schleyer, but had not been convicted in the Buback murders.

The investigating judge had imposed the additional sentence on Klar, Mohnhaupt and Folkert in an attempt to force the former RAF-members to testify again concerning Buback's killer.

The sentence was overturned Friday after all three filed an official complaint with the Federal Court of Justice. It remains highly disputed whether former members of terrorist organizations can be forced to testify against fellow members after having served their sentence.

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