BERLIN (JTA) – Prosecutors in Stuttgart are shelving their war crimes investigation of a 94-year-old man who already was convicted of Nazi war crimes in Italy.
Former SS soldier Wilhelm Kusterer of Engelsbrand – who was found guilty of involvement in the massacre of 770 civilians in Marzabotto, Italy, in 1944 and sentenced to life in prison in absentia in 2008 – was too ill to stand trial, the prosecutors said. A spokesman for the prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to get a conviction in Germany, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The German investigation was launched in 2013.
In March 2015, Kusterer, who had served for years in the Engelsbrand parliament as a member of the Social Democratic Party, received an honorary medal for social services from his town. But he returned the medal last March following protests mounted from Italy against honouring a convicted war criminal.