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The World : Nazi Court Probe Dropped

October 22, 1986

West Berlin officials dropped efforts to prosecute aging members of the Nazi People's Court, which sentenced more than 5,000 people to death, most of them political opponents of Adolf Hitler's regime. In 1979, prosecutors began an investigation to see whether 83 former members of the Berlin-based court could be charged with murder, the only crime not covered by the statue of limitations. The prosecutors found either a lack of evidence or that many of the 83 were unable to stand trial. West Berlin Justice Minister Rupert Scholz, calling the court "an instrument of the worst terror," criticized West German officials for not pressing charges earlier.

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