A former defence lawyer for West German urban guerrillas has called for a neutral International enquiry into the deaths in prison last week of the three convicted leaders of the Baader-Meinhof group.
INTERIOR MV's Baader Meinhoff's lawyer Otto Schily being interviewed by Roger Dunton. (5 shots)
SCHILY: "I think there are two alternatives, one is murder, one is suicide. And one of the circumstances which may be the reason for the suspicions in the direction of murder is the fact that there were used pistols. Up to today nobody has given a real explanation for this fact and I have no idea how it could be possible that two pistols in two different cells have been brought.
REPORTER: "You obviously knew Gudrun Ennslin very well having defended her at a trial. Did she ever give any indication so far as you know that she might commit suicide or would commit suicide?"
SCHILY: "My knowledge and my impression was always that she didn't seem that she could make suicide and she must have changed her mind in a very deep way since I couldn't see her when she had made up her mind in another context."
REPORTER: "Are you happy with the way the authorities are investigating the deaths in Stammheim?"
SCHILY: "No. Just in the first hour when it was announced the death of three defendants they called it 'suicide'. There no (indistinct), no expertise, no nothing and they call it already 'suicide'. And that's for me point two to be very doubtful about what has happened really."
Searches carried out in Stammheim prison have since yielded enough high explosive to demolish walls, hidden wiring evidently used to pass messages between the isolated cells, and secret cavities believed to have held the pistols with which two of the guerrillas allegedly shot themselves. Stammheim near Stuttgart is reputedly one of the most secure prisons in West Germany and the discoveries have led to the resignation of the Justice Minister Baden-Weurtemmberg (the region that controls the Stammheim prison), and the jail's director and security officer have been sacked. Now the government of Baden-Wuertemmberg is facing mounting criticism over the incident.
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Background: A former defence lawyer for West German urban guerrillas has called for a neutral International enquiry into the deaths in prison last week of the three convicted leaders of the Baader-Meinhof group. Herr Otto Schily, former defence council for one of the three, Gudrun Ensslin, said only an independent body could clarify the many questions surrounding the deaths. Justice officials said Ensslin hanged herself, and that Andreas Baader and Jan-Carl Raspe shot themselves with pistols found later at their sides.
SYNOPSIS: Herr Schily said that while the three were in Stammheim Prison they had been in the hands of the authorities, and in an interview with Roger Dunton of Visnews he said answers to the alternatives surrounding the deaths had to be given.