Honecker Accused of Ordering Deaths
Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for former East German leader Erich Honecker on charges that he personally gave shoot-to-kill orders at the Berlin Wall, justice officials said Saturday.
Germany’s ZDF television reported that authorities were on their way to the Soviet military hospital south of Berlin where Honecker is staying to arrest him. The report could not immediately be confirmed.
News of the arrest warrant came on the eve of today’s first all-German elections since 1932. Honecker was ousted in October, 1989, by a peaceful revolution that eventually led to German unification.
Cornel Christoffel, a spokesman for Berlin’s justice department, said the warrant links Honecker, 78, directly to the deaths of several people who tried to escape East Germany during his rule.
He said newly found documents show Honecker’s signature on an order for border guards to shoot East Germans trying to flee across the Berlin Wall and the inner German border.