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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

SS Chief Case Dropped

BERLIN () -- A court ruled Thursday that former East German secret police chief Erich Mielke was too sick to stand trial for the deaths of East Germans trying to escape to the West.

Mielke, 87, was charged with six counts of manslaughter. The prosecutors charged that, as a senior member of East Germany's Communist leadership, Mielke had been among those responsible for installing mines along the East German borders and for ordering border guards to shoot would-be escapees.

A recent psychiatric evaluation determined that Mielke could no longer comprehend what was going on at the trial and the court said it was dropping the case for health reasons.