Germany: Defense seeks acquittal in WWII killing

AP News
Posted: Jan 06, 2014 8:45 AM
Germany: Defense seeks acquittal in WWII killing

BERLIN (AP) — The lawyer for a 92-year-old former Waffen SS member charged with killing a Dutch resistance fighter in 1944 asked a German court Monday to find his client not guilty.

Dutch-born Siert Bruins, now a German citizen, went on trial in September in the western city of Hagen. He is accused of killing resistance fighter Aldert Klaas Dijkema in September 1944 in Appingedam, near the German border in the northern Netherlands.

Bruins' lawyer said in closing arguments Monday that his client didn't know of plans to shoot Dijkema and that another now-deceased SS man pulled the trigger, said court spokesman Jan Schulte. The killing happened at a time when Allies forces had entered the Netherlands and were pushing back the occupying German troops.

German prosecutors and Dijkema's sister have asked the court to hand Bruins a life sentence. Under German law, victims or their relatives can be plaintiffs in serious criminal cases.

The court will issue its verdict on Wednesday, Schulte said.