Trial starts - again - for accused Auschwitz medic | News | DW | 12.09.2016
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Trial starts - again - for accused Auschwitz medic

The trial of a 95-year-old man accused of serving as a medic at Nazi Germany's Auschwitz concentration camp is back underway. It is the fourth attempt to try the aged and ailing defendant.

On Monday, the trial of a 95-year-old man accused of serving as a medic at Nazi Germany's Auschwitz concentration camp began for a fourth time in Neubrandenburg. The defendant arrived to the courtroom in a wheelchair to face charges of culpability in at least 3,681 murders for administering to the health of Nazi Germans at the camp, which, the prosecution argues, allowed them to carry out their killings. That could carry a sentence of 15 years for Hubert Z., who has been identified only by his first name and last initial to protect his privacy pending a verdict.

In an open letter, camp survivors and the International Auschwitz Committee had criticized the trial's repeated delays, calling the proceedings "torturously slow."

Officials had to delay the trial in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania three times since it began in February - twice because of the aging defendant's poor health. Hubert Z. had another checkup before the trial could begin anew.

Prosecutors say the man worked at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland for several weeks during the summer of 1944 - a period in which 14 trains arrived filled with prisoners to be murdered. The defense says he is not guilty.

Germany has raced to try people accused of Nazi crimes, but some have been deemed too unwell to face charges.

mkg/kms (dpa, epd)

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