[JURIST] German president Horst Koehler [official website, in German] has refused to grant a plea for clemency from an imprisoned former terrorist, his office said Monday. Christian Klar [Wikipedia profile], eligible for parole in 2009, was a member of the Red Army Faction [Wikipedia backgrounder], commonly known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, a radical leftist group that killed 34 people before disbanding in 1998. Klar was convicted of invlolvement in numerous murders, including those of chief West German federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback and the head of the Dresdner Bank, Juergen Ponto. Koehler said he discussed the matter extensively with prosecutors and victims' families, and met with Klar himself, before reaching his decision.
Koehler also rejected a clemency plea from Baader-Meinhof member Birgit Hogefeld [Wikipedia profile], who was convicted for the 1985 killing of a US soldier. The gang later used the soldier's stolen ID card to drive a car filled with explosives onto a US military base, where the explosion killed two Americans. In February, a German state court granted parole [JURIST report] to another former Baader-Meinhof member Brigitte Mohnhaupt [Wikipedia profile], after she had served 24 years in prison. The court did not grant Mohnhaupt a pardon, but found that she no longer posed a security risk. AP has more.