MOSCOW -- The wife of former East German Communist leader Erich Honecker flew from Moscow to join her daughter in Chile Thursday, a day after her husband was forced from his refuge at the Chilean Embassy to face trial in Germany.
Margot Honecker, 65, was driven to Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport by Chilean Embassy staff and boarded an Aeroflot flight for Santiago Thursday afternoon.
Mrs. Honecker refused to answer reporters' questions at the airport, but she did say that she was not being forced to leave Moscow.
The Honeckers' daughter Sonia, 35, lives in Chile and at one point the former East German leader reportedly hoped to find permanent refuge there from charges of responsibility for the deaths of East Germans killed as they tried to escape across the Berlin Wall.
A lawyer for Honecker, who ruled East Germany with an iron fist for 18 years, denied claims that his client left Russia voluntarily and said he was forced by Chilean and Russian officials to leave the Chilean Embassy where he spent the last seven and a half months.
Soviet authorities had granted Honecker refuge from German criminal charges after German unification, but after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in December 1991 Russian authorities indicated they might extradite him and he moved to the embassy as a 'personal guest' of Chile's Ambassador Clodomiro Almeyda.
While he still headed East Germany, Honecker had granted refuge to Almeyda after the coup against Chile's Marxist President Salvador Allende, in whose Cabinet Almeyda had served.
Honecker was flown on a special Russian jet from Moscow to Berlin Wednesday night, spent the night in jail with a common criminal and was formally indicted Thursday for his alleged role in the killings at the Berlin Wall and for abuse of power.