Germany set to release last Communist leader

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The Independent Online
A German court ruled yesterday that Egon Krenz, the last hardline communist leader in East Germany, could be released from jail pending an appeal against a conviction for manslaughter.

Krenz was found guilty last month in connection with the deaths of refugees killed during Communist rule as they tried to flee over the Berlin Wall. He was jailed, although the verdict was not yet legally binding, because authorities feared he would flee. But his lawyers argued during yesterday's hearing that Krenz, 60, had never failed to appear during his 18-month trial, proving that there was no reason to suppose he would attempt to leave the country or go into hiding at this stage. Reuters - Berlin

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