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Berlin pressures US to free convicted murderer

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Berlin pressures US to free convicted murderer
Photo: DPA
14:08 CET+01:00
Berlin is pressuring US authorities to release a German national serving two life sentences on double murder charges, saying he would have been released years ago according to the German penal code.

Human rights commissioner Markus Löning said Wednesday that he'd paid a visit to Jens Söring in Virginia in hopes of having the 44-year-old former diplomat's son returned to his home country.

Söring is serving a double life sentence after being charged with helping his American girlfriend murder her parents in 1985 when he was 18-years-old. At the time, he admitted his participation in the crime but later retracted his confession.

He still maintains his innocence.

US authorities have refused to pardon Söring or grant him a suspended sentence, which the German embassy in Washington DC has been working to change.

“Publicly we can do very little,” human rights commissioner Löning said on Wednesday after returning from his trip to the US. “But we're trying to do everything we can in the background.”

The question of the prisoner's guilt or innocence plays “no role,” he said.

“Söring has been sitting in prison for almost a quarter of a century. With that he has long since served his punishment according to our interpretation of the law.”

DPA/ka

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