Germany revokes verdict against Dutchman after 75 years

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Germany has revoked a 75-year-old verdict against a Dutchman convicted and executed for setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933.

11th January 2008

Berlin (dpa) - The case against Marinus van der Lubbe was dropped, Berlin lawyer Reinhard Hillebrand and the Federal Prosecutor's Office announced Thursday.

The decision was based on a 1998 law which allows for verdicts issued during Nazi rule from 1933-1945 to be nullified.

Van der Lubbe was convicted of setting fire to the Berlin Reichstag in February 1933 and executed at a Leipzig prison 11 months later, three days before his 25th birthday.

In 1967 a West Berlin court commuted the death sentence to 8 years in prison. The Federal Prosecutor and van der Lubbe's brother, Jan, appealed the ruling, but lost the appeal.

In 1980, after lengthy complaints, a West German court overturned the original verdict, but the state prosecutor lodged an objection.

The case was re-examined by the Federal Court of Justice, which three years later overturned the result of the 1980 trial, on the grounds there was no basis for it, therefore making it illegal.



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