Raf trial: buback’s plea ends in eclat

Raf trial: buback's plea ends in eclat

It is a last attempt to convince the court of his thesis that it was the defendant verena becker, a terrorist of the "red army faction", who shot his father on april 7, 1977. April 1977 shot and killed his father, the then attorney general siegfried buback. And that she was subsequently protected in the investigation because she had cooperated with secret services.

Representatives of the federal prosecutor’s office spent two days listening to buback’s presentation. In between, it looked as if they had lapsed into a kind of rigidity of acquiescence, but they were seething – you could see it during the breaks in the proceedings, you could see it when senior public prosecutor silke ritzert interrupted buback once because he had misquoted her.

Federal prosecutor walter hemberger, in a kind of precautionary defense, had already tried on tuesday to blow up everything that buback could bring forward. In the end, the prosecutors had requested a prison sentence of four and a half years for aiding and abetting murder – that she herself was at the scene of the crime, they do not believe. And in fact, the 91 days of hearings have not produced any reliable evidence that verena becker was the killer.

But buback does not give up. It seems that he could not accept that his father became the victim of a brutal and cold-blooded, but ultimately also banal and stupid crime. As if there had to be something else behind it, something more gross.

For the last time, buback scrapes together everything that, from his point of view, speaks for a scandal that was indeed outrageous. 27 witnesses he names who had seen a woman on the pillion seat – though some are already dead, others contradicted themselves in court, and still others had seen a motorcycle with a woman on another day or at another location. Buback does not say that so clearly.

He then lists the mistakes that he believes were made during the investigation – and which, in his opinion, served to conceal verena becker’s culpability. These are "errors that cannot be explained by sloppiness, because this is far too unlikely," says buback. One could understand however "the actually incomprehensible, if one assumes that there was a protecting hand for verena becker". Then he gets more specific: he names his father’s successor, federal prosecutor general kurt rebmann, as well as former BKA vice president and later head of constitutional protection gerhard boeden.

Buback closes his speech with an expression of resignation. I consider verena becker to be in over her head. She is the protector. But it could not be said who the backers had been. "It cannot be ruled out that mrs. Becker was urged or forced to take action."That is why he is not asking for a fine. "Mrs. Becker has a lot of luck. Above all, she has more powerful connections than I have and than my father had."

Buback continues with a complaint: the federal prosecutor’s office had accused him of not being so careful with the truth. He feels insulted and denigrated. "The verdict, whatever it may be, is no longer of great value to us, since the road to it was too hard for us."

When buback closes, there is applause – the community of his supporters makes up a rough part of the audience. But then federal prosecutor hemberger speaks up. He wants to make a statement. It must be immediately. His voice sounds sharp. His words also: "it is an impertinence that cannot be justified by anything, how a head of an authority with integrity and the officials subordinated to him are accused of a crime, namely of bending the law". Every other word is not worth the speech of the defendant." End of the trial. General astonishment. On 6. July the verdict is to be pronounced.

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