8 Jan 2009

Trial of former SS member collapses

10:24 am on 8 January 2009

The planned trial of a former SS member who confessed to killing three Dutch civilians has collapsed, after the court decided he was unfit to stand trial for health reasons.

Heinrich Boere, 87, was due to be tried in Aachen early this year in what would have been one of Germany's last Nazi war crimes trials.

However, the court said on Wednesday a medical examination had found his health was too poor to stand trial.

Boere was captured by US forces in the Netherlands after World War II and confessed to killing civilians as a member of an SS hit squad targeting anti-Nazi fighters.

He then escaped and fled to Germany, before being sentenced to death in absentia in the Netherlands in 1949.

Germany refused a 1980 Dutch extradition request because of complications over Boere's citizenship. Other previous efforts to convict him in Germany also failed.