A German court on Monday said a 93-year-old former SS sergeant charged with 170,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as an Auschwitz death camp guard has been declared fit for trial, reports The Associated Press (AP).
The Detmold state court said that a doctor determined that Reinhold H., whose last name was not given for privacy reasons, is fit to stand trial so long as sessions are limited to two hours per day.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors now have two weeks to submit responses to the expert opinion, noted AP.
H. is accused of being an accessory to murders at Auschwitz from January 1943 to June 1944 but claims he was assigned to a part of the camp not involved in the mass murders.
The case is the latest in a series of attempts by German prosecutors to bring surviving Holocaust perpetrators to justice while there is still time.
The crackdown on Nazi war criminals began following the 2011 Munich trial of John Demjanjuk, a Nazi war criminal charged of assisting in the murder of 28,060 people at the Sobibor death camp and sentenced to five years.
A recent case which gained attention around the world was that of Oskar Groening, nicknamed the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, who was sentenced to four years in prison earlier this year for serving as an SS guard at the camp.
Jewish groups have welcomed convictions of Nazi war criminals but have also urged justice authorities to maintain pressure on ones who haven’t yet been charged.