Bavaria downplays chances of Nazi facing justice

26th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany's justice minister suggested Friday that a Nazi wanted by the Netherlands could serve his sentence in Germany but Bavaria, where the 88-year-old lives, said it needed significant new evidence.

Dutch prosecutors on Thursday issued a European arrest warrant for SS assassin Klaas Carel Faber, who has been living freely in Germany since escaping from a Dutch prison in 1952 where he was serving a life sentence.

Three previous attempts to bring him to justice have failed, and German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, amid pressure from Israel, called Friday on the state of Bavaria, which has jurisdiction on the case, "to look for alternative solutions."

This could include putting Faber, third on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of wanted Nazis, in prison in Germany, the minister told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily.

But the justice ministry in the southern state played down the chances of this latest attempt, following others in 1954, 1957 and 2004, being successful.

"In 2004 there was a Dutch attempt for him to serve his sentence in Germany, which was rejected on the basis of a 1957 court decision dismissing the case for lack of evidence," spokesman Stefan Heilmann told AFP.

"In order to re-visit this decision, the Netherlands would have to present new and significant evidence."

Faber was sentenced to death by a Dutch court in 1947 for murdering 22 Jews during World War II although this was later commuted to life imprisonment.

He escaped from Breda prison in the western Netherlands in 1952 with six other former SS men and fled to Germany, eventually settling in Ingolstadt in Bavaria where he worked for automaker Audi.

Faber served in a special SS unit in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands which killed Dutch civilians deemed "anti-German" in reprisal for resistance attacks.

He worked from 1943 to 1944 at Westerbork transit camp, where Dutch schoolgirl Anne Frank, whose diary became world-famous, was held before being sent to her death at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler gave all those serving in the SS German citizenship, and Germany as a rule does not extradite its own citizens.

© 2010 AFP

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