Former East German leader Erich Honecker, fleeing manslaughter charges in united Germany, has taken refuge in the Chilean Embassy in Moscow after the Russian Federation told him to go home.
In a statement distributed to reporters outside the embassy Thursday, Honecker said: “I have requested political asylum in the Soviet Union because I am politically persecuted. . . . Political persecution rules out extradition.”
Bonn asked Chile to expel Honecker, 79, from its embassy and pressed Soviet and Russian authorities to send him home by Friday. Chile said he can stay in the embassy until Russian and Soviet authorities decide his fate.
Honecker and his wife, Margot, have sought permission to go to Chile, where their daughter, Sonja, lives with her Chilean husband.
Honecker fled to Moscow to escape charges that he ordered guards to shoot to kill along the old East German-West German border.