Karel Vas, 96, a prosecutor who came to symbolize unlawful trials during the post-1948 communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, has died.

Czech public television reported that Mr. Vas died Saturday in a home for retirees in Prague where he had lived. Details were not available.

During World War II, he moved to the Soviet Union where he began to collaborate with dictator Josef Stalin's much-feared secret police. Historians say Mr. Vas one of the state prosecutors who played a key role in show trials that used fabricated evidence to hand out death sentences to opponents of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
- AP