International - POSTED: 2010/03/23 16:01
A court in Germany sentenced an 88-year-old former Nazi SS death squad member to life in prison Tuesday for the murder of three Dutch civilians in World War Two.
A spokesman for the court in the western city of Aachen confirmed the verdict against Heinrich Boere for the three killings, which were carried out in the Netherlands in 1944.
His defense said it would appeal, which could mean that the sentence is not legally binding for months.
Boere, who is on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted war crime suspects, had confessed to killing the three civilians when he was a member of an SS squad targeting anti-Nazi resistance, but argued that he was following orders.
The proceedings have attracted international interest, not least because they have coincided with the case of John Demjanjuk, 89, who is on trial in Munich on charges of helping to kill 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor extermination camp in Poland.
Boere was born in Germany but grew up in the Netherlands. He was captured there by U.S. forces after the war, but escaped to Germany before being sentenced to death in absentia in the Netherlands in 1949.