Brave German prosecutors get recognition in the US.
By Harold Evans US NEWS & WORLD REPORT 2-21-14
President Obama, in his meeting with French President Francois Hollande earlier this month, warned countries eager to boost trade with Iran that the U.S. will come down “like a ton of bricks” on any firms that breach sanctions. The French and Turks have already sent delegations to Tehran and the Germans are following. Next week in New York City, the Federal Bar Association will honor two German attorneys who diligently fought their government’s pressure to put trade before justice amid a high-profile terrorism prosecution. U.S. News Contributing Editor Harold Evans reports:
The murders in the restaurant were swift. Two big, bearded men, their coat collars up to their eyes, came out of the drizzly night and burst into a dimly lit private room at the back of the restaurant. The taller of the two stood over a party of eight at a corner table. He thrust a gloved hand into a bag slung over his shoulder and pulled out a machine gun. “You sons of whores,” he shouted, then fired 26 bullets in two bursts, killing four. The dignified senior figure who had been addressing the group died in his chair. To make sure, the second assassin pulled a handgun from his belt and fired three more bullets into his head. A minute later the two shooters and a third bearded man who had blocked the door were gone, driven off in a blue BMW that had been waiting outside, its engine idling.
Justice has been less swift. It has come in stages. The murders were committed at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin on the night of Sept. 17,1992. The trial of four men of the score or more in the plot did not conclude until 1997- The killer with the machine gun escaped by plane that night and found refuge in Iran.
But if justice has not caught up with all the plotters, the attorneys who led the investigation and won convictions achieved something more significant than even trial verdicts. They exposed the masterminds behind the Mykonos murders — the Iranian leadership in Tehran — and with that its then-unknown campaign to exterminate opponents no matter where they were in the world. Iran’s hit men had already killed more than 100 who had fled Iran. The victims at the restaurant were members of Iran’s Democratic Party of Kurdistan who were meeting with Secretary General Sadegh Sharafkandi.
Weeks before the Mykonos murders, the popular Iranian singer Fereydoun Farrokhzad was found beheaded in his home near Bonn, but nobody made the connection to a decree from Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini upon winning power in 1979. He personally identified 500 individuals he wanted dead. Khomeini died in 1989 but his succcessor, the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his associates, continued to operate what President Reagan called Murder Incorporated (North Korea being another charter member; its human rights violations were documented just this week …read more