Germany Drops Case Against Former Nazi SS Guard Already Convicted in Italy

94-year-old Wilhelm Kusterer judged too ill to stand trial in Stuttgart after already being sentenced to life in prison in absentia for taking part in WWII massacre.

This 1944 photo provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) shows a group of SS officers gathered in front of a building at Solahutte, the SS retreat outside of Auschwitz, Poland.
AP Photo

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 honoring a convicted war criminal.