Reuters International

BERLIN (Reuters) - A 92-year-old woman who worked as a radio operator at Auschwitz has been ruled as unfit to stand trial on charges that she was an accessory to the murder of 260,000 at the Nazi death camp.

The court in Kiel said on Friday the woman identified only as Helma M. was almost blind and deaf, and that a serious illness she suffered this year had left her physically, mentally and emotionally unfit to be put on trial.

A spokeswoman for the court said in a statement that judges had ruled that the woman "did not fulfil the basic conditions to take part in an enduring trial".

Germany has been holding trials of suspects of Nazi crimes, using accessory to murder charges to convict Sobibor death camp guard John Demjanjuk in 2011 and 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning earlier this year.

A German court in June sentenced Auschwitz guard Hanning to five years in prison after it branded him a "willing and efficient henchman" in the Holocaust and convicted him of being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people.

The trials are likely to be Germany's last linked to the Holocaust, when the Nazis killed more than 6 million people, mostly Jews, in a deliberate plan of extermination.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Erik Kirschbaum and Alison Williams)

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