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Israel Govt. Wants Member of Supreme Court to Preside at Eichmann Trial

The Israel Ministry of Justice was reported working today on a bill to enable a member of the Israel Supreme Court to be president of the court which will try Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS Colonel who directed the extermination of the 6,000,000 European Jews.

Under present law, the president of the district court chooses three district judges to preside when a case involves a defendant charged with severe crimes. The court president can name himself among the three.

The president of the Jerusalem district court is Judge Benjamin Halevi, who presided in the Kastner and Kafr Kassem trials. He is known as an emotional jurist and the Israel Government apparently was concerned that he might appoint himself to preside at the Eichmann trial. The proposed amendment would specify that a court dealing with capital crimes must be presided over by members of the Supreme Court.