Ebke in custody
Yk man wanted in Germany on terrorism charges seems 'friendly and polite'
Yellowknife ( May 24/00) - Walter Lothar Ebke will be appearing in Supreme Court in Yellowknife tomorrow to set a date for a bail hearing.
The 46-year-old German national was arrested last week on charges made by German federal authorities related to a radical leftist terrorist group -- the Revolutionary Cells.
Ebke owns a bed and breakfast in Old Town overlooking the lake.
Jeff Coates moved into Ebke's former residence in July last year when Ebke and his common-law partner opened the Back Bay Boat Bed and Breakfast.
"He sort of keeps to his own corner of the woods down here," he said. "But he's a very polite, very handy guy and he always seems friendly enough."
Coates added that Ebke is very outdoorsy as well as a generous person who has lent him building supplies on several occasions.
He was arrested at his home without incident on May 17, explained Sgt. Phil Johnson, unit commander for the RCMP "G" division.
"He was calm although somewhat surprised we were at his door and co-operated with the arresting officers," he said.
Ebke appeared in Supreme Court in Yellowknife to set a date for a bail hearing within 24 hours, which is mandatory under the Extradition Act. He appeared somewhat dishevelled and intense as he was led into court last Friday afternoon.
Yellowknifer requested an interview with Ebke, however was told by a Yellowknife Correction official that Ebke declined. The official reported that a press release will be issued Thursday by Ebke and his lawyer, Sarah Kay.
Ebke, currently a Canadian resident as well as a citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany, remains in custody until his appearance tomorrow.
An arrest warrant was issued March 9 by the Federal German Court of Justice seeking the extradition of Ebke following the arrest of a 51-year-old man in Berlin in April on similar charges.
Under the Extradition Act, an extradition partner such, as Germany, may request that the Canadian government use a provisional arrest warrant to detain somebody wanted in that country. This is used if "the offence in respect of which the extradition is requested is punishable by the extradition partner."
Both men are allegedly involved in the Revolutionary Cells, a faction of the Baader-Meinhof gang of terrorists. The charges relate to the bombing of a social welfare office on Feb. 6, 1987, a building for people seeking asylum in Berlin. They are also wanted for an attempted bombing of the Victory Column, a Berlin landmark, on Jan. 15, 1991, as well as alleged involvements in Berlin shootings in 1986 and 1987 of a federal judge and former city official, both of whom survived.
"All allegations stem from when he was in Germany and the lead agencies are German authorities," Johnson explained.
"For the past several weeks it was being pursued here and came to a conclusion (May 17) with Mr. Ebke's arrest.
"It was working its way through the (Canadian) Department of Justice levels for several months now."
Ebke owns the Back Bay Boat, Bed and Breakfast in Yellowknife, known for the RCMP boat on its lawn.
He came to Yellowknife for a canoe trip 16 years ago and started the bed and breakfast last year. He is also known for boat building, repairing and restoring through his business, Lothar's Workmanship Solutions, which he started about five years ago.
The Revolutionary Cells are terrorist cells organized in Frankfurt, Germany in the 1970s and grew to several hundred members in the mid-1980s, according to information found on the Internet. It also says they function as "semi-autonomous cells, each aware of the group's overall mission yet mostly unaware of the identities of other group members."
Members are believed to have stolen large amounts of explosives in the 1980s which have never been recovered, according to German authorities.