Petra Kelly killed in double shooting

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The Independent Online
PETRA KELLY, founder of the German Greens and a passionate international campaigner on environmental and human rights, was shot dead at her Bonn home by her companion and fellow peace activist, Gert Bastian, who then turned the gun on himself, according to police.

But they could not say whether the couple had agreed to the shooting, or whether Kelly had been killed in her sleep. Her body was in bed dressed in a tracksuit; that of Bastian, in a shirt and trousers, was outside in the hall, his .38 twin-barrelled Derringer special at his side. No letter of explanation has been found.

Once the best-known of the German Greens, Kelly, 44, had become alienated from the movement, embittered by disputes with people she felt were jealous of her

success.

The party had refused to nominate her for a seat in the 1990 general election campaign. After Western Greens lost all their seats, she blamed them for 'always treating their own celebrities very badly. They have scared off a lot of competent people.'

Although she still enjoyed a strong reputation abroad, living off speaking engagements, mainly in the United States, she was rarely heard in Germany.

Bastian, 69, had reached the rank of major-general before being forced to retire from the army because of outspoken opposition to the stationing of American nuclear missiles in West Germany in the early 1980s. He became the new party's leading military expert. An internationally recognised campaigner against the arms race, he later broke with the Greens, discouraged by constant internal feuding.

For the past few years the couple had lived in comparative obscurity in a modest, terraced house in unfashionable northern Bonn. It was there that their bodies were found late on Monday night by neighbours alerted by Bastian's estranged wife, who was concerned at not having heard from him.

The police were yesterday unable to fix the day of the deaths, but said there had been no sign of the couple since 1 October.

Both bodies were decomposed, and identification was not immediately possible. Kelly had been shot through the left temple, while Bastian had shot himself through the top of the head. Both died instantly.

Police described Bastian's 'somewhat unusual method' as 'requiring a certain technical knowledge' - a reference to his military past. There were no other wounds on either body, nor signs of a struggle.

The Greens said earlier that several of their prominent politicians had recently received threats from far-right groups, but no such letters were found.

Because the couple were often abroad the neighbours had not thought anything untoward about their not having been seen for three weeks.

Greens in the wilderness, page 10

Obituary, page 13

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