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German loses appeal to serve time back home

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German loses appeal to serve time back home
Photo: DPA
09:02 CEST+02:00
A German diplomat's son who has spent 22 years in a US prison after being convicted of murder has been denied the right to be moved to a German prison. He still protests his innocence.

Jens Söring fell victim to a political tug-of-war in the past few years in his attempt to be allowed to serve his sentence in Germany.

Former Democrat Governor of Virginia Tim Kaine originally denied Söring's request, only to change his mind at the beginning of 2010, as one of his last few acts in office.

But then his Republican successor Bob McDonnell immediately overturned the decision on taking office. Söring's defence lawyers criticized this reversal as illegal, but Presiding Judge Beverly Snukals found that McDonnell was within his rights to reverse the decision.

Söring was found guilty of murdering the parents of his American girlfriend Elizabeth in 1985, and has been serving a double life sentence in Buckingham prison in Virginia since 1990.

At the time of the murders, Söring was a 19-year-old student with a scholarship at the University of Virginia. He originally signed a confession, but then retracted it, saying he had only signed it to protect the real murderer - Elizabeth. He still protests his innocence.

US authorities have denied several appeals to convert his life sentence into a suspended sentence.

The Local/DPA/bk

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