Dutch issue warrant for Nazi war criminal living in Germany

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Authorities in the Netherlands have issued an arrest warrant for a Dutch-born convicted Nazi war criminal who is living in Germany after escaping from prison six decades ago, prosecutors said Thursday.

A European arrest warrant had been issued for the arrest of 88-year-old Klaas Carel Faber who is now living in Bavaria in southern Germany, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The arrest warrant is a preliminary step before a formal extradition request is filed with German authorities, the statement added.

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

He escaped from Breda prison in the western Netherlands in 1952, fleeing to Germany where he obtained German citizenship.

Faber, who is high on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of wanted Nazis, served in a special SS unit in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands which killed Dutch civilians deemed "anti-German" as reprisals for resistance attacks.

The Israeli government has also been pressing for Faber to be brought to justice.

But authorities in Bavaria had said in August there was only a "theoretical" chance of new proceedings being brought against Faber, who has seen off several previous attempts to extradite him.

In March this year, another member of Faber's unit who also escaped to Germany, Heinrich Boere, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a German court. His lawyers had said they were planning an appeal and Boere, 88, remains free.

© 2010 AFP

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