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Nazi war crime compensation ruling upheld

May 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

ROME, May 31 (UPI) -- Italy's highest court upheld an International Court of Justice ruling that Germany does not have to compensate Italian victims of Nazi war crimes.

The international court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, had determined in February that Italy "failed to recognize the immunity recognized by international law" for the crimes, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The Italian Supreme Court decision was the first in which it upheld a ruling from the international court on the Nazi war crimes compensation issue.

The Hague court found Germany was immune from being sued in foreign courts by victims of crimes committed during World War II and ordered compensation orders be voided.

Germany appealed to the international court in 2008 following two Italian court decisions that ordered Berlin to pay compensation to 12 Italians who were taken prisoner by Nazi forces and deported to Germany for slave labor after dictator Benito Mussolini fell from power and Italy abandoned its former ally in September 1943.

In both cases, the Italian judges had rejected Germany's claims that it was exempt from financial responsibility for crimes committed by Nazi soldiers under accords drawn up in 1947 and 1961.

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