MONTEVIDEO (Jul. 21)
A federal judge in Buenos Aires ruled that Argentina’s statute of limitations guarantees immunity from prosecution after 15 years and thus bars trial for Nazi war criminals who have taken refuge in Argentina.
Federal Judge Leopoldo Isaurralde made the ruling when an extradition request by Czechoslovakia for Jan Durcansky, wanted for participation in mass murders during World War II, reached his court.
Citing the 15-year limitation, Judge Isaurralde noted that “everybody knows that World War II ended May 9, 1945. “He added that since it was “obvious” that Durcansky “could not be judged under Argentine law because he has acquired immunity through the passage of time, this country cannot allow him to stand trial in another nation.”
It was noted that under this ruling, Adolf Eichmann, seized in Buenos Aires and now awaiting trial in Israel for his role as the person who planned and directed the extermination of 6,000,000 European Jews, could not be prosecuted in Argentina if he were returned as Argentina has demanded.
Judge Isaurralde became involved in the Eichmann case when he accepted for trial a suit by Eichmann’s wife in which she demanded punishment of the Israelis who seized her husband, as well as damages from them.