Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 18:18 UK

Former Nazi 'fit to stand trial'

File photo of Heinrich Boere, 2003
Heinrich Boere has been at the centre of years of legal wrangling

An 88-year-old former member of the Nazi SS who admitted killing three Dutch civilians is fit to stand trial, a German court has ruled.

The decision by the appeals court in Cologne reversed a ruling by another German court in January that Heinrich Boere was too frail to be tried.

The suspect has acknowledged shooting dead three people in 1944, amid reprisals for resistance attacks.

His case is expected to be among the last of Germany's Nazi-era trials.

Of German-Dutch origin, Heinrich Boere fled to Germany in 1947, two years before a tribunal in Amsterdam sentenced him to death - a sentence that was later reduced to life in prison.

A Dutch extradition request was refused in the early 1980s.

Following a request that he serve his sentence in Germany, the Cologne appeals court ruled two years ago that the 1949 trial was unfair.

He was eventually indicted in April 2008, but a court in Aachen then said he was unfit to stand trial, largely because of heart problems.

Reversing that decision, the Cologne court on Tuesday said that "his well-being can be properly taken care of inside and outside the court".

It said the defendant would be allowed breaks during hearings and would be given medical supervision.

The court added that the fact that the principal evidence against the suspect was contained in statements from people who had since died, this would place less of a strain on him than facing witnesses face-to-face.

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New York Times Germany: Former SS Soldier Declared Fit for Trial - 39 hrs ago
Jerusalem Post German court rules Nazi suspect Heinrich Boere fit for trial - 43 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Nazi hitman Heinrich Boere, 88, IS fit to stand trial for 1944 triple execution, court rules - 48 hrs ago
ABC News German Court Rules Nazi Suspect Fit for Trial - 51 hrs ago

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