The families of victims of a former SS Nazi soldier have welcomed a life sentence handed down against him.
88-year-old Heinrich Boere has been convicted of killing three Dutch civilians during World War Two.
The Dutch-born soldier was captured by US forces in the Netherlands after the war but he fled to Germany. His lawyers recently argued he was not fit to stand trial because of a heart condition.
The son of one of the victims, Teun de Groot, said: “I hope he will live, he will live still a long time.”
Boere managed to avoid justice for more than 60 years, fighting off a Dutch extradition request, until he was indicted by a German court in 2008.
State prosecutor Ulrich Maass said: “The question of whether he will serve this sentence is still open, but this is not what it’s all about. There is more of a symbolic meaning here. What we wanted to achieve above all is a conviction. His guilt for these crimes is confirmed, which is quite meaningful.”
The verdict came after a five-month trial. Boere is now said to be wheel-chair bound and has been living in a nursing home. Medical experts are still to decide if he should be sent to jail.