Final appeal by former Dutch SS-man Heinrich Boere rejected
The German Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has rejected the appeal filed by Dutch Nazi war criminal Heinrich Boere.
A court in the city of Aachen convicted the 89-year-old former SS member to life in prison for killing three Dutch citizens in 1944. Boere filed an appeal arguing he could not be sentenced twice on the same charges. In 1949, a Dutch court had sentenced him to death for the same crimes.
Boere, who was allowed to await the outcome of his appeal in liberty because of his frail health, has confessed to committing the three killings. During his trial, the accused told the court he probably would have been killed himself had he disobeyed the order to execute the three men. However, the court disagreed, arguing that Boere voluntarily joined the 15-man Waffen-SS squad of Dutch volunteers, the Sonderkommando Feldmeijer, tasked with killing members of the Dutch resistance and anti-German citizens in retaliation for acts of resistance against the Nazi occupation.
The Federal Constitutional Court's ruling means Boere has exhausted all options to challenge his conviction in Germany. The Public Prosecutors' Office now has to decide whether the life sentence should be carried out in view of Boere's old age and poor health. His lawyers may decide to file a lawsuit with the European Court of Justice. Earlier, The Federal Constitutional Court rejected the argument that the case must be presented to the European Court of Justice because of a violation of the Schengen Accord, which states that no European citizen can be prosecuted or convicted twice for the same crime. The Karlsruhe court argued that the rule does not apply to the Boere case.
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