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Germany

DNA Tests Rule Out Buback Murder Suspect

New DNA samples taken from a 1977 Red Army Faction killing don't match ex-member Verena Becker.

The covered body of Siegfried Buback on a street, near a car

The Buback murder sent shockwaves through Germany

Former Red Army Faction (RAF) member Verena Becker was most probably not involved in the assassination in 1977 of Siegfried Buback, former West Germany's top prosecutor.

Federal prosecutors in Germany say crime-scene DNA samples from what went down in history as one of the RAF's most notorious killings do not match the former member of the terrorist group.

Prosecutors' spokesman Frank Wallenta said Tuesday, July 22, that new analysis of the DNA samples taken from a motorcycle helmet and jacket show that they are not those of Verena Becker.

The apparel was worn during the assassination in Karlsruhe of Siegfried Buback on April 7, 1977 along with two other people.

The new investigation was opened after witnesses said a woman might have been on the motorcycle used in the attack. The victim's son, Michael Buback, is also reported to have suspected Becker, who voluntarily gave DNA samples for comparison.

Germany's terrorist past

Verena Becker

Verena Becker

Among those convicted in relation to Buback's murder is former RAF member Christian Klar. Amidst widespread media controversy, German president Horst Koehler had considered pardoning him after he filed a pardon application several years ago, but on May 7, 2007, this was denied.

The Red Army Faction was one of post-war West Germany's most prominent militant left-wing groups, described by the West German government as terrorists.

Formally founded in 1970 by Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Horst Mahler, Ulrike Meinhof and Irmgard Möller, it operated from the 1970s to 1993 and was responsible for 34 deaths including many secondary targets such as chauffeurs and bodyguards.

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