Germany Reopens Probe Into 1970s Terror Murder | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 25.04.2007
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Germany Reopens Probe Into 1970s Terror Murder

German authorities said Wednesday they were reopening the investigation into the murder of a federal prosecutor by the militant Red Army Faction (RAF) 30 years ago.

Slain federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback in 1977

Slain federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback in 1977

The new investigation focuses on former RAF terrorist Stefan Wisniewski, who was released from prison in 1999 after serving a life sentence for the murder of employers' association president Hanns Martin Schleyer in 1977, Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms said.

Wisniewski was not charged in the slaying of Harm's predecessor, Siegfried Buback. His murder was one of a series of RAF assassinations that rocked former West Germany in what later became known as "the German autumn."

But in an interview with the newsmagazine Der Spiegel this week, another former terrorist, Peter-Jürgen Boock, said Wisniewski was probably the motorcycle gunman who fired the fatal shots that killed Buback and two companions in April 1977.

Three other members of the RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, were convicted of the Buback killing, but it never became clear who pulled the trigger.

Maintained silence

Deutschland Generalbundesanwältin Monika Harms Terror Buback Mord

Chief federal prosecutor Monika Harms is reopening the case

One of those convicted in the murder, Christian Klar, remains in prison and has applied for a presidential pardon. Brigitte Mohnhaupt, found guilty as an accomplice, was released last month after serving 24 years.

Knut Folkerts, who was released from prison in 1995, was the third man convicted, but two other former terrorists told Der Spiegel they did not believe he was involved in the murder.

All three convicted of the Buback killing have remained silent.

Buback's son, Michael, said last week that he might support Klar's clemency appeal after receiving new information which suggested that he hadn't carried out the killing.

The 1977 assassination of Buback was intended to free imprisoned RAF members, including its co-founder, Andreas Baader.

The RAF, which disbanded in 1998, is suspected of killing 34 people between 1972 and 1991. It denounced what it called the "oppressive capitalist state of West Germany."

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