European Jewish Congress
Dane accused of murdering Jews during Second World War will not face trial
Denmark
Dane accused of murdering Jews during Second World War will not face trial

An elderly Dane accused of being involved in the mass murder of Jews in Belarus during the Second World War will not be prosecuted, Danish authorities said on Friday, stating they have “not found evidence he committed or took part in the killings.”

The probe had been “very thorough” but evidence against 91-year-old Helmuth Leif Rasmussen was “limited,” chief prosecutor Steen Bechmann Jacobsen said.

“To be prosecuted for participation in mass killings requires a closer connection to the crime itself. You do not prosecute a known burglar for lots of burglaries in a neighbourhood simply because he was in the area at the time of break-ins. You need evidence,” he told The Associated Press.

“This is a very sad day,” said Ephraim Zuroff , head of the Jerusalem-based Simon Wiesenthal Center. He said Rasmussen “must be happy, the relatives of the victims are not.”

In July 2015, Zuroff asked police to investigate the case after Denmark’s Justice Ministry had turned down a similar request saying it was not their matter. He believed there was a strong case against Rasmussen because of documents found by Danish historians that said he was in the inner circle of the camp run by the Waffen SS where 1,400 Jews died.

After the war, Rasmussen was sentenced to six years imprisonment for having served as a soldier for Nazi Germany.

Now known by the name Rasboel, Rasmussen has acknowledged being among the 6,000 Danish volunteers who joined the Waffen SS after Germany invaded the Scandinavian country in 1940. Rasmussen, who was not available for comment on Friday, has vehemently denied involvement in the killings.

Zuroff said he was “strongly considering an appeal” of the decision to Denmark’s top prosecutor.

Click here to read the full article in The Canoe

Monday, November 07, 2016
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