Ex-Politburo Members Charged In Deaths

Seven former East German politburo members were charged Monday with manslaughter in the deaths of people fleeing to the West after the construction of the Berlin Wall.

Among those named in the 1,600-page indictment is Egon Krenz, 57, the last Communist to lead East Germany before the country collapsed in 1989, and Guenter Schabowski, 65, the onetime East Berlin party chief.

Monday’s indictments by the Berlin prosecutor’s office follow a three-year investigation and are the second set of charges brought against Communist rulers for their alleged brutality in persecuting those who sought to flee East Germany between 1961 and 1989.

Three former East German officials were sentenced to prison terms in September 1993 but remain free pending appeal.

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