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CRIME

Police appeal over Berlin prison break

Three days after two inmates broke out of a Berlin jail, police have released photos and details of the prisoners. They fled from their cells with the help of a bed sheet in a cartoon-like escape.

Police appeal over Berlin prison break
Müslü (l) and Ziegler. Photo: Polizei Berlin

Michael Müslü, 34, and Ulrich Wolfgang Siegfried Ziegler, 25, escaped from Moabit prison in the early hours of Tuesday morning, simply by sawing through the metal bars in their cells and getting over a barbed wire fence using a blanket. It took almost three hours for guards to notice they had gone.

On Thursday lunchtime police released pictures of the two men and appealed for anyone who had seen them to get in touch.

Müslü is 192 centimetres tall, weighs 100 kilos and has a scorpion tattoo on his chest. He is accused of murdering a Berlin nightclub owner.

Ziegeler, who was in prison for fraud, also weighs around 100 kilos, is 194 centimetres tall and wears glasses. He has a scar on his head.

He left a note in his cell stating he would return in three weeks. “Got to take care of something,” the note read.

The ease of the escape has proved embarrassing for Berlin’s justice authorities. Disciplinary action is being taken against four of the guards, but the state of the prison’s security has also been criticized. Its guard towers have not been manned for years and building work is currently underway on the site.

Guards ignored the alarm when it went off, believing it was related to the construction work.

Anyone with information should contact Berlin police on 030 4664 9781 10.

SEE ALSO: Postwoman jailed for throwing letters away

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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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