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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chilean official to hold talks on Honecker's fate

Chile's U. N. Special Envoy James Holger arrived in Moscow Thursday to broker talks between the Russian and German governments over whether to extradite former East German leader Erich Honecker, Interfax reported.


Honecker, who has taken refuge in the Chilean embassy for three months, since Russia threatened to expel him, is wanted in Germany on manslaughter charges for issuing orders to border guards to shoot East Germans trying to flee to the West.


After negotiations in Moscow, Holger will fly to Bonn to consult with the German government on Honecker's fate, the news agency reported.


Russia's Justice Ministry announced earlier this week that Honecker had no legal right to be in Moscow and that it would follow through on its pledge to expel the 79-year-old former East German leader.


The Soviet military helped orchestrate Honecker's escape to Moscow from Germany one year ago. Since the former East German leader went into hiding in Moscow's Chilean embassy, diplomatic tensions between Russia and Germany have increased.


The Chilean embassy previously reported that Honecker was dying of cancer and that his condition was "very delicate". But questions about Honecker's health were answered last week after Moscow's elite Botkin clinic issued statements that the 79-year-old was in a "completely satisfactory" condition.


The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the German magazine Stem said Honecker threatened suicide with a potassium cyanide pill if he was returned to Germany. The AP also reported that German officials were skeptical about Honecker's suicide plans, since Chilean sources had previously said Honecker was dying of cancer.


The Chilean Foreign Ministry said the latest medical report "may have changed the reasons that led the government" to grant Honecker sanctuary at the embassy, AP reported.


o The new "Law of Prosecution", adopted last month will ensure the rights of those on trial will not be violated, said the Russian Federation's Chief Prosecutor, Valentin Stepankov, at a press conference Tuesday.


The law will guarantee supervision of the rights of defendants, which for years were violated under Soviet rule.