The last major trial of a Red Army Faction guerrilla, 58-year-old Verena Becker, has begun in the southwestern city of Stuttgart, 33 years after the militants murdered a federal prosecutor.
Becker, a leader of the leftist group also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, was charged with participating in the 1977 shooting of federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback.
Buback, one of the most prominent victims of the group, was ambushed by two people on a motorcycle when his car stopped at a traffic light in Karlsruhe on April 7, 1977. The killers escaped in a getaway car driven by a third militant.
Three members of the group were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for the murders, but authorities have never been able to pin down who fired the shots because members refused to talk.
Prosecutors have said they had no evidence to suggest Becker had shot Buback. But they said her DNA had been found on the envelopes of letters sent to authorities by the militants claiming responsibility for the murders and a subsequent search of her apartment turned up new evidence tying her to the crime.
Becker was arrested after a shootout with police two months after the murder. Authorities probed her link to the crime at the time, but dropped the case in 1980 due to lack of evidence.
She was pardoned for earlier crimes in 1989 by former President Richard von Weizsaecker. The group disbanded in 1998.
The trial is set to last until December.
Born out of the radical anti-establishment student politics of the 1960s and the anti-Vietnam war movement, the militant group killed some 34 people between its founding in 1970 and 1991.
Assaf Uni contributed to this report.
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