Court approves release of German terrorist after 26 years


Berlin : A German court Monday cleared the way for a leading member of the terrorist outfit Red Army Faction (RAF) to be released from prison after serving a sentence of 26 years.

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The High Court in Stuttgart, southwest Germany, ruled that Christian Klar, 56, no longer presented a danger to society and could go free in January 2009.

Last year German President Horst Koehler declined to grant clemency to Klar, on the grounds he had failed to show remorse.

Klar was arrested in 1982 and three years later sentenced to life for nine murders, including the 1977 shooting of prosecutor-general Siegfried Buback and the abduction and murder of employers’ federation chief Hanns-Martin Schleyer the same year.

The court ordered he must serve a minimum of 26 years, which ends Jan 3.

Other former terrorists have been freed after showing regret for the 1970s communist urban guerilla violence by the group, formerly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

The RAF, which was responsible for more than 30 murders and kidnappings, dissolved itself in 1998.

Klar, who outraged many Germans by issuing a call from jail last year for the downfall of capitalism, co-led the RAF after the capture of its founders Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof.

Two other RAF terrorists were freed last year after serving long prison terms.

Eva Haule was released in August after serving 21 years for murder. Brigitte Mohnhaupt was freed in March after serving a 24-year-sentence for her role in the murders of prominent officials in 1977 aimed at securing the release of Baader and two fellow terrorists.