JERUSALEM (Mar. 21)
The Israel Foreign Ministry strongly denied today reports emanating from Bonn that Israel had given assurances to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer that the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann would be conducted in a way which would not hurt West German-Israel relations. The reports were cited during debate on Israel Foreign policy in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.
Justice Minister Pinhas Rosen announced today that the Israel Government will not grant any immunity to Nazis who would come to testify in the Eichmann trial. Replying to a question in the Knesset concerning reports that Eichmann’s counsel, Dr. Robert Servatius, had sought immunity for witnesses who were Nazis, Mr. Rosen said that Israel would take all steps to prosecute them.
Replying to another question, Mr. Rosen denied that the Government would finance the transportation of defense witnesses to the trial. No such request had been made by the defense, he said, adding that the arrangement whereby the Government will bear the cost of the Eichmann defense was the most that could be expected.
Dieter Wechtenbruch, deputy defense counsel for Nazi Adolf Eichmann, left for West Germany today to seek witnesses for the defense in Eichman’s trial. Mr. Wechtenbruch, who is assistant to Dr. Robert Servatius for the trial, saw Eichmann before leaving. He reported that despite the nearness of the opening of the trial, the former head of the Gestapo’s Jewish section seemed calm.
Several hundred threatening letters to Cabinet Ministers and other top officials, written in Nazi style and terminology, have been received from abroad in connection with the Eichmann trial, it was disclosed here today.
A Government Press Office spokesman said that the threatening letters were received along with thousands of others, most of which expressed satisfaction over the capture of Eichmann. Some of the letters demanded the severest punishment for the Nazi war criminal, while a number of them asked for leniency or clemency toward Eichmann.