BERLIN – A 96-year-old former Auschwitz death camp guard who was convicted as an accessory to murder is fit to go to prison, German prosecutors said Wednesday. His lawyer said he will contest their decision.
Oskar Groening was convicted in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews and sentenced to four years in prison. In November, a federal court rejected his appeal.
Groening has remained free pending the appeal and a decision on his fitness for prison.
On Wednesday, Kathrin Soefker, a spokeswoman for prosecutors in Hannover, told the news agency dpa they have rejected a defense application for a reprieve on serving the sentence.
She said a doctor considers Groening fit to go to prison so long as there is appropriate medical care. There has been no formal summons yet for him to start serving his sentence.
Groening's lawyer, Hans Holtermann, said he would ask a court in Lueneburg to review the decision. If it deems Groening fit to serve time, he added, an appeal to a higher court would be possible.
Holtermann said he doesn't consider Groening fit to go to prison, and said the doctor hadn't physically examined his client.