Ex-Red Army Faction member convicted for role in 1977 murder


A German court on Friday convicted an ex-member of the Red Army Faction that terrorised Germany in the 1970s and 1980s for being an accessory to the murder of a top official 35 years ago.
Verena Becker was handed a four-year jail term for her role in the 1977 RAF murder, by the court in the southern city of Stuttgart.
It said two and a half years she had already served from a previous sentence would count in her favour. As a result, she may not return to prison.
It found her guilty of having been part of the RAF hit squad that murdered Siegfried Buback, then West Germany’s top prosecutor, and two others in the RAF’s most high-profile attack.
Prosecutors had acknowledged that Becker was not directly involved in the killing but claimed she was a major player in planning and implementing the murder plans. Mystery still surrounds who actually pulled the trigger.
Breaking a long silence on the charges, Becker, now 59, herself said in her testimony that she “was not there” at the crime scene.
She also denied helping plan the attack in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe which marked the start of the “German Autumn”, the peak of the gang’s reign of terror.
The case was closed in 1980 but reopened in 2008 when Becker’s DNA was found on a letter from the gang claiming responsibility for Buback’s death.
The group took up arms against what it considered an oppressive capitalist state still riddled with former Nazis, killing 34 people in attacks on West Germany’s elite and on US military bases before disbanding in 1998.
Becker’s trial opened in September 2010.