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CRIME

German teen killers sentenced for grisly murder

Three teens who killed and dismembered their 19-year-old schoolmate have been sentenced in Stuttgart for their crime, according to the DDP news agency.

In August 2007, the students from Kernen in the German state of Baden-Württemburg lured a classmate to a field and beat him to death. They then dismembered him, abandoning the torso in the field, and sank the remaining body parts in concrete-filled in flower pots in the Neckar River.

The judge in the case wanted to hand out the 10-year maximum sentence for minors to all three of juvenile defendants. But defence lawyers were able to get one student a milder sentence.

The main defendant, who has turned 19 since the murder, received the maximum 10-year jail sentence. Two 17 and 18-year-old co-defendants were handed nine and ten year sentences, respectively. A fourth, 23-year-old defendant, received a jail sentence of three years and three months for obstruction of justice in the case.

All of the defendants admitted guilt in the crime, though contested charges that the murder was premeditated. Possible motives for the grisly murder include jealousy and revenge.

CRIME

101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

A 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard on Monday once again denied being complicit in war crimes during the Holocaust as his trial drew to a close in Germany.

101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

Josef Schütz, the oldest person so far to face trial over Nazi crimes during World War II, is accused of involvement in the murders of 3,518 prisoners at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945.

The pensioner, who now lives in Brandenburg state, has pleaded innocent throughout the trial, saying he did “absolutely nothing” and was not aware of the gruesome crimes being carried out at the camp.

“I don’t know why I am here,” he said again at the close of the proceedings, his voice wavering.

Dressed in a grey shirt and pyjama bottoms and sitting in a wheelchair, Schütz insisted he had had nothing to do with the atrocities and was “telling the truth”.

READ ALSO: Ex-Nazi death camp secretary who fled trial to face court in Germany

Prosecutors say he “knowingly and willingly” participated in the crimes as a guard at the camp and are seeking to punish him with five years behind bars.

But Schütz’s lawyer, Stefan Waterkamp, said that since there were no photographs of him wearing an SS uniform, the case was based on “hints” of his possible involvement.

“As early as 1973, investigators had information about him but did not pursue him. At the time, witnesses could have been heard but now they are all dead or no longer able to speak,” Waterkamp said.

Former Nazi guard

The 101-year-old former Nazi guard covers his face at the Neuruppin courthouse. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

It would be a mistake for the court to try to “make up for the mistakes of a previous generation of judges”, the lawyer said.

Antoine Grumbach, 80, whose father died in Sachsenhausen, told AFP Schuetz “does not want to remember”, calling it “a form of defence”.

The trial was not just about “putting a centenarian in prison”, he said. It had also produced evidence that Sachsenhausen was an “experimental extermination camp”.

“All the cruellest methods were invented there and then exported,” Grumbach said.

READ ALSO: Trials of aging Nazis a ‘reminder for the present’, says German prosecutor

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