Germany Says Honecker Must Be Tried if He Comes to Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ Germany’s ambassador to Chile said Tuesday his government will demand the extradition of Erich Honecker should the ailing former ruler of East Germany come to Chile.
Honecker, 79, has been living since Dec. 11 in the Moscow residence of his old friend, Chilean ambassador Clodomiro Almeyda, after Russian authorities told him to leave the country or face expulsion to Germany.
The situation is difficult for Chile, which does not want to alienate Bonn as a European ally.
Chile’s position is that although Honecker does not qualify for political asylum, he would be allowed to come as long as he produces a valid German passport.
Chilean Foreign Minister Enrique Silva told El Mercurio newspaper over the weekend that he believed Honecker should be allowed to come as a tourist to Chile to live with his daughter, Sonja, who is married to a Chilean.
German Ambassador Wiegand Pabsch met Tuesday with Interior Ministry officials and told reporters later that Germany would insist on Honecker’s extradition if he ended up in Chile.
Germany wants to try him for manslaughter for the deaths of more than 200 East Germans who where shot trying to flee to the West.