Prosecutors said Friday they have filed criminal charges against former Communist Party chief Erich Honecker and five other ousted officials accused of using their power to rob the state and live in luxury.
The Communist Party's official newspaper said the party must make a new start if it is to survive the growing challenge to its authority. It said many members favor dissolving it in favor of a socialist movement.In a bid to hold onto power, the party Thursday bowed to the opposition and agreed to rewrite the constitution and hold free elections in May.
The concessions came on the eve of a crucial party congress tonight that is expected to choose the third party leader in three months and radically alter the party structure.
Prosecution spokesman Peter Przybylski said formal charges were filed against Honecker, former Premier Willi Stoph and four other ex-leaders ousted in the nationwide pro-democracy movement.
"They are accused of damaging the economy of the German Democratic Republic and of personally enriching themselves by abuse of office and corruption," he said.