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Fischer perjury probe is dropped

Fischer's poor memory sparked inquiry
Fischer's poor memory sparked inquiry  

FRANKFURT, Germany -- An investigation into whether German Foreign Minster Joschka Fischer lied in court has been dropped.

The popular minister had been under scrutiny after testifying as a character witness for a former friend at a high profile court case surrounding an attack on a 1975 OPEC meeting.

Fischer had been accused of making false statements after changing his testimony in January's trial of Hans-Joachim Klein, but prosecutors have now dropped their investigation.

The probe centred on his memory of whether he had shared an apartment during his student radical days with Magrit Schiller, who later joined the terrorist Red Army Faction.

Initially, he had said they had not shared a flat, but later he said he could not remember.

Petra Bertelsmeier, Deputy Head of the Frankfurt prosecutors office, told the Associated Press on Monday that the evidence did not confirm the allegations -- backed by many witness statements.

Fischer had come under fire from opposition politicians who called for his resignation, but held the support of his chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

The minister had to withstand further bad publicity when, in the run-up to his giving evidence, a German magazine printed pictures showing a helmeted Fischer scuffling with police at a 1973 Frankfurt protest, sparking an admission that he had battled with officers in the streets.

Fischer, whose radical past was revealed, said he had since reacted against violence and had attempted to persuade former friends, such as Klein to change also.

Klein, was convicted and sentenced to nine years for the OPEC attack in which three people were killed.

Probe into Fischer's past to end
April 20, 2001

German Government

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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