British teenagers to face trial over stealing from Auschwitz


Two teenage boys accused of stealing items from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum will face trial after withdrawing their admissions of guilt, Polish prosecutors have said.

The students from Perse School in Cambridge were fined 1000 Zloty (£170) and given suspended sentences in June after police found items believed to be stolen from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in their bags.

The teenagers - who were on an educational trip - admitted responsibility, but have now changed their minds because they were not aware at the time the items had special cultural significance and the seriousness of the offence.

The pupils, who were 17 at the time, will be charged with misappropriation of objects that are artefacts of special cultural significance, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Buttons, a fragment of a hair clipper, and a piece of a spoon which belonged to the concentration camp prisoners were allegedly found in the youths’ backpacks.

Krakow Regional Prosecutor's office spokeswoman Boguslawa Marcinkowska is reported to have said the indictment had been sent to the Regional Court in Krakow on Tuesday.

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