The Associated Press
Published: December 12, 2008
The federal German prosecutor's office said Friday that it will
likely shelve an investigation into whether a convicted Red Army
Faction terrorist was involved in the group's most notorious killing
more than 30 years ago.
Prosecutor Rainer Griesbaum said his office had found no grounds for
suspicion that Verena Becker was involved in the assassination of
West Germany's top prosecutor, Siegfried Buback, on April 7, 1977.
Two other people were also killed.
Prosecutors said in July that DNA taken from a motorcycle helmet and
jacket at the scene of the killing did not match Becker's.
Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms began a new investigation into the
murders in April 2007, after a report surfaced that ex-Red Army
Faction member Stefan Wisniewski had been fingered as the man who
fired the fatal shots.
The Red Army Faction also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang after
two early leaders, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof followed
Marxist-Leninist ideology and sought to overthrow the capitalist West
German government and fight perceived U.S. imperialism. The group
declared itself disbanded in 1998.
The investigation was expanded this summer to include Becker after
Buback's son pressed for follow-up on early witness reports that a
woman might have been on the motorcycle used in the attack.
Griesbaum, Harms' deputy, said his office has also not been able to
come with anything more than hints of Wisniewski's possible
involvement and suggested that investigation could be shelved as well.
Becker, now 56, was arrested in West Germany a month after the attack
on Buback, along with another faction member, following a shootout
with police. She was convicted of armed robbery and attempted murder
stemming from the shootout, and sentenced to life in prison. In 1989
she was pardoned.
Three Red Army Faction terrorists have been convicted of involvement
in the Buback killing but it remains unclear who pulled the trigger.
Wisniewski had never previously been linked to the killing. He was,
however, convicted of murder for the September 1977 kidnapping and
slaying of industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer, president of West
Germany's employers' association. Wisniewski was released in 1999
after 21 years in prison.