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Germany prosecutors charge accused Nazi with 58 counts of murder

[JURIST] A 90-year-old German man has been charged with 58 counts of murder stemming from his involvement with the Nazi party during World War II. The man, who has not been named, was a member of an SS tank regiment and allegedly shot 57 Jews [BBC report] in a ditch outside of Duisburg, Austria, as part of a forced labor camp. He is also accused of killing another laborer. German prosecutors compiled the case with the testimony of former Hitler Youth who were also involved, initially working off the tip of an Austrian student who became interested after the mass grave of the Jews was found in 1995. The court in Duisburg must now decide whether to move forward [AFP report], and the man has two weeks to raise an appeal.

This case comes just days before the trial of accused Nazi guard John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile; JURIST news archive] is set to begin. The US Department of Justice succeeding in deporting [JURIST report] Demjanjuk to Germany in May to face trial. In July, German prosecutors charged [JURIST report] Demjanjuk with 27,900 accessory counts stemming from his alleged involvement as a guard at the Sobibor [Death Camps backgrounder] concentration camp where more than 260,000 people were executed in gas chambers. It has been alleged that Demjanjuk volunteered to work at Sobibor [Abendzeitung report, in German] after being captured by German forces while serving a member of the Soviet army. Three other men accused of being former guards have had proceedings brought against them by a Spanish court, and warrants for their arrest have been issued. The German appeals court in September permitted the case to continue in the Spanish court [JURIST report].

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