German court acquits Dutch journalists over Nazi interview

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A German court Thursday acquitted two Dutch journalists accused of secretly filming an interview with a 90-year-old former SS assassin on charges of breaching German privacy laws, an official said.

"The two journalists have been acquitted," a spokesman for the court in Eschweiler in western Germany told AFP.

The two TV journalists, from Dutch current affairs programme Een Vandaag, had faced up to three years in prison over charges of recording an interview with Heinrich Boere using a hidden camera when he was in a nursing home in 2009.

Jelle Visser, one of the journalists, told AFP after the verdict that they were very happy with the outcome, adding: "That's the freedom of the press."

"We thought it was a much bigger story that Heinrich Boere lived 60 years quietly after killing people than what we did, (which was) to film him with a hidden camera," he said.

Boere began a life sentence in December for shooting dead three civilians in Nazi-occupied Netherlands in 1944.

He confessed to shooting in cold blood pharmacist Fritz Bicknese, bicycle shop owner Teunis de Groot and Frans-Willem Kusters.

But he argued that as a member of an SS commando unit tasked with killing suspected resistance members or supporters, he risked being sent to a concentration camp if he refused.

© 2012 AFP

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