Ex-East German PM on trial

Hans Modrow, the last Communist prime minister of East Germany, goes on trial today for alleged vote rigging in his days as powerful party leader of the Dresden region, Reuter reports from Dresden.

In late 1989, Modrow was viewed as an East German equivalent of the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev because he promised Communism with democratic reforms. He took over as prime minister in a Communist-led transition government after a peaceful pro-democracy uprising forced out hardline Stalinist leaders in October 1989. But his Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), renamed successor to the Communist Party (SED), was pushed out of government in the country's first free elections in March 1990.