Terrorist Goes on Trial in Rhein-Main Air Base Bombing
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ A lawyer defending a leftist charged in the 1985 bombing of a U.S. air base and the murder of a U.S. serviceman said Thursday the attack was a legitimate act of resistance against U.S. imperialism.
A judge evicted the accused terrorist, Eva Haule, from the courtroom on the first day of her trial when she refused his orders to sit down.
A fragile-looking woman with long dark hair, Ms. Haule, 39, is charged with three counts of murder and 23 counts of attempted murder and faces life imprisonment if convicted. She is a former leader of the leftist Red Army Faction group.
Her defense attorney, Gerd Klusmeyer, said the deadly bomb attack was a ″legitimate means of resistance against American imperialism″ and asked for the charges to be dropped.
Ms. Haule, who is already serving a 15-year sentence for another terrorist attack, said the prosecution had no proof against her or any other member of the Red Army Faction, and described the proceedings as a show trial.
On Aug. 8, 1985, explosives packed in a Volkswagen rocked the parking lot behind the Rhein-Main Air Base headquarters, killing Airman 1st Class Frank H. Scarton, 19, of Woodhaven, Mich., and Becky Joe Bristol, a civilian U.S. Air Force employee from San Antonio, Texas.
The blast also injured 23 people. The night before, 20-year-old U.S. Army Spec. 4 Edward Pimental, of New York City, was killed after leaving a Wiesbaden discotheque with a woman.
His body was found in a wooded area near Wiesbaden, 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Frankfurt.
The French leftist group Direct Action and Germany’s Red Army Faction claimed joint responsibility for the bomb attack.
A week later a news agency received Pimental’s identification card with the same letter from the two groups. The letter did not claim responsibility for Pimental’s death.
Authorities say the terrorists used Pimental’s ID card to enter the air base.
State prosecutor Klaus Pflieger said written notes linking Ms. Haule to the bombing were found recently in the prison cell of another Red Army Faction terrorist.
Although they don’t prove that Ms. Haule personally lured Pimental out of the discotheque and pulled the trigger, or that she drove the explosives- filled car onto the base, the notes leave no doubt that she participated in the attacks, Pflieger said.
The bombing was one of a series of attacks the leftist Red Army Faction carried out against the U.S. military in Germany in the 1970s and 80s.
Arrested in July 1986, Ms. Haule was convicted two years later of parking an explosives-laden car at a NATO training ground in Oberammergau, Bavaria, in 1984. She is serving a 15-year sentence in that case.
The trial in Frankfurt’s high state court continues next week.