German Court Orders Former RAF Terrorist Released on Parole | Germany | News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 17.08.2007

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German Court Orders Former RAF Terrorist Released on Parole

After serving 21 years of a life sentence for murder, ex-RAF terrorist Eva Haule will be released on parole after a Frankfurt court ordered her to be freed Friday. The court said that she no longer posed a public threat.

Eva Haule

Eva Haule, seen here after her arrest in 1986, has served 21 years of a life sentence

The Frankfurt court announced on Friday that it had ordered the release on parole of former Red Army Faction (RAF) member Eva Haule after determining that she no is longer a danger to the public after 21 years in prison.

Haule, who was first arrested in 1986, was serving a life sentence for the three murders, including that of a US Army soldier in Wiesbaden in 1985. When she is released on Tuesday, she will become the second member of the radical left-wing group to win parole this year.

During her time with the RAF, which is also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, Haule rose through the ranks to become the highest-ranking woman in the terrorist organization and one of its most sought-after members.

Her seniority in the RAF led to her involvement in the crimes, which saw her initially convicted on weapons possession charges and for membership in a terrorist organization in 1988, and then for murder and causing explosions in 1994.

The 1988 conviction in Stuttgart, for her involvement in an attempted bomb attack on a NATO facility in Bavaria and a raid on an arms dealer, led to a 15-year sentence that was upgraded to life six years later.

Murders and bombings mean life

The car bomb attack, US air base Rhein-Main, Aug. 1986

The US Rhein-Main air base was targeted in 1985

A Frankfurt court found her guilty in 1994 of participating in the murder of Edward Pimental, a 20-year-old soldier from New York City, and the bombing of the US Rhein-Main air base, both in August 1985. She was also connected by the Frankfurt court to two other killings and 23 attempted murders.

When she was arrested in an ice cream parlor with two additional suspects in August 1986, Haule and her associates were in possession of blueprints for the Federal Ministry of Economic Collaboration, which led investigators to believe she was masterminding a future attack on the government building.

In recent years, Haule spoke through her representatives from prison of her "extremely heavy guilt" in regard to her terrorist past. Her behavior behind bars over the years also led to a downgrading of her security status; Haule was moved from the women's prison at Frankfurt Preungesheim to the women's custody institution in Berlin-Neukölln.

There, as an open prisoner, Haule studied social educational theory and took a training course in photography. In March 2005, an exhibition of portraits of fellow inmates was held in a parliamentary building in Berlin, which caused outrage among liberal and conservative politicians at the time. Her photos have since appeared in a number of publications and books.

Haule parole follows Mohnhaupt release

Haule becomes the second RAF member to be released on parole this year after Brigitte Mohnhaupt was allowed back into society in February after serving 24 years of a life sentence for her involvement in multiple murders.

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