E. German Spy Denied Extra Pension
BERLIN (AP) _ The former head of the East German secret police, a lifelong communist who fled Germany in the 1930s to avoid the Nazis, is not entitled to extra pension money for the time he spent in exile, a court ruled Wednesday.
Once the No. 2 man in East Germany, Erich Mielke, 90, now lives in seclusion with his wife in an apartment in eastern Berlin. His monthly pension, according to German media, is just under $555 a month.
Hoping to boost his income, he applied to Berlin authorities for a supplemental pension for the years he spent in Moscow and Spain, from 1931 until the end of World War II.
Mielke argued he was in exile because he feared Nazi persecution, which under German law would make him eligible for the extra money.
But the court ruled that the main reason for his exile was not fear of persecution, but fear of prosecution for his involvement as a young communist street fighter in the killing of two Berlin policemen on Aug. 9, 1931.
Mielke was jailed shortly after the 1990 collapse of communist East ermany and convicted of the murders in 1993 by a Berlin court. He was released in 1995 after serving two-thirds of his six year sentence.
He has escaped further prosecution, including charges related to deaths at the Berlin Wall, because of poor health and senility.
Last year, another Berlin court refused to give Mielke back $211,000 blocked in a bank account since 1990. It ruled he had misused his privilege and power to amass the fortune during the 30 years he headed the hated Ministry of State Security.