Red Army Faction Member Convicted In Attempt To Kill Alexander Haig
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) _ A judge today convicted a Red Army Faction terrorist in the kidnap-murder of a German industrialist and in the 1979 attempt to assassinate then-NATO Secretary General Alexander Haig.
Sieglinde Hofmann, 50, was sentenced to life in prison.
Hofmann tried to approach the judge during the brief hearing, but was held back by a guard. She refused to sit as the verdict was read, and pounded on the table while complaining that she was allowed no visitors in prison.
Prosecutors charged that in 1977, Hofmann pushed a baby carriage in front of the car of German Employers’ Council President Hanns-Martin Schleyer to make it stop; then she and others took weapons out of the carriage and opened fire, killing Schleyer’s driver and three police officers. Schleyer was kidnapped and slain later.
In 1979, a mine exploded seconds after Haig’s car passed over it as he was being driven to NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Police found plans for the assassination attempt when they arrested another Red Army Faction member.
Hofmann was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1982 for the attempted kidnapping of a German bank chairman. He died in the attempt, but Hofmann was not charged with his death.
Last May, five days before she was scheduled for an early release, charges were brought against her in the Schleyer and Haig cases.
Today, Hofmann was convicted of five counts of murder in the Schleyer case and of three counts of attempted murder in the bombing. Under German law, her sentence can be reviewed after 15 years, and she could then win early release. However, a judge could rule anytime in the interim that her crimes were ``especially severe″ and effectively bar her release.