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Defense demands acquittal for accused Nazi

[JURIST] Defense lawyers for German citizen Ladislav Niznansky [BBC report], the 88-year-old former Slovak Nazi commander accused of wartime massacres, demanded Tuesday that their client be acquitted and given compensation for his time in prison, saying there was no evidence showing his guilt. Niznansky was convicted in absentia and sentenced to death in then-communist Czechoslovakia in 1962 for his part in murdering 164 people during three massacres in 1945 after a failed uprising against Slovakia's Nazi puppet government. Niznansky was not arrested until March 2004 [JURIST report] in Germany. Prosecutors in the current trial, which began in September 2004 [JURIST report], have asked for the maximum sentence of life in prison for Niznansky, but his defense team says that without the evidence from the 1962 trial, which the defense says was a "communist show trial," the prosecution has little upon which to base its case. The court ordered Niznansky's release from police custody in October 2004 after a key witness admitted to no longer being able to remember the events clearly. A verdict in the trial is expected later this month. AP has more.

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