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Murder case against ex-SS officer, 92, thrown out in Germany: Court

Published on Jan 8, 2014 11:02 PM

HAGEN, Germany (AFP) - A German court on Wednesday halted proceedings against a 92-year-old former SS officer accused of the murder of a Dutch resistance fighter nearly seven decades ago.

In a case underlining the difficulty of trying elderly defendants for crimes of the Third Reich after so much time has passed, Dutch-born Siert Bruins, a German national, had been in the dock since September.

Presiding judge Heike Hartmann-Garschagen ruled after four months of hearings that because crucial evidence had been lost since the killing and key testimony was unavailable, it had been impossible to convict Bruins of murder.

"Proceedings will be halted," she said.

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