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Europe

Netherlands issue arrest warrant for Nazi criminal living in Germany

Dutch public prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for convicted Nazi criminal Klaas Carel Faber to be extradited to the Netherlands. Faber escaped a Dutch prison in 1952 and has since lived a quiet life in Germany.

A statue of the Roman goddess of justice

Faber has so far managed to escape justice

Authorities in the Netherlands have issued a European arrest warrant for a convicted Nazi war criminal living in Germany.

Dutch-born Klaas Carel Faber had been sentenced to death by a Netherlands court in 1947 for the murder of several prisoners in the Westerbork transit camp in 1944.

The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 1948. Faber escaped from prison in 1952. He fled across the border to West Germany, where he later received citizenship, and moved to Bavaria.

Faber served in a special SS death squad that was tasked with killing Dutch civilians classified as "anti-German" or linked to Dutch resistance in the German-occupied Netherlands.

The 88-year old is high on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of wanted Nazi criminals. The Israeli government has also repeatedly called for him to be brought to justice.

Extradition request to follow

Berlin, however, has so far refused to extradite him. In 1957 a court in Dusseldorf dismissed charges against Faber for lack of evidence brought against him. A Dutch extradition request in 2004 was turned down with reference to that 1957 decision.

In 2006 new evidence was brought before a court in Munich, but the judges saw the cases as manslaughter rather than murder - which meant the crimes had lapsed under the statute of limitations. In order to re-examine the case with new evidence, a new arrest warrant from Dutch authorities was needed.

Dutch public prosecutors are for the first time trying to use the European arrest warrant system, which has been in place since 2002. The arrest warrant for Faber is a preliminary step before the formal extradition request to Germany.

In March 2010 a German court convicted Heinrich Boere - another member of Faber's unit - and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Boere's lawyers have appealed the verdict.

Author: Andreas Illmer (dpa, AFP, AP)
Editor: Nancy Isenson

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