Menu JTA Search

Eichmann’s Lawyer Files Notice of Appeal Against Death Sentence

Counsel for Adolf Eichmann, sentenced here by the District Court last Friday to hanging for crimes against the Jewish people and crimes against humanity, filed notice today of an appeal to the Israel Supreme Court.

The notice was filed by Dieter Wechtenbruch, assistant to the chief of Eichmann’s defense, Dr. Robert Servatius. The latter returned to Germany immediately after the sentencing.

Mr. Wechtenbruch told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency he has requested an extension of 15 days for filing the defense reasons for the appeal against the court’s judgment and sentence. Dr. Servatius, he said, will be back here before the end of the month for the finalization of the formal appeal.

Meanwhile, Eichmann, as a convict facing death instead of a mere prisoner awaiting trial and sentence, has been transferred from the jurisdiction of the police to the care of the Government’s prison administration.

The convict is now in an Israeli prison, occupying a single cell, wearing regulation prison costume instead of civilian garb. His cell contains a bed, table, chair and drinking water. He will be denied contact with other prisoners but will be permitted to take a walk every day.

Both Dr. Servatius and Mr. Wechtenbruch told newspapermen here, after the sentencing, that Eichmann had expected the verdict he heard as well as the sentence. “It was no surprise to him,” said Dr. Servatius before he left for Germany. “After all, he himself did not expect to rejoin his family again as a free man.”

CONDUCT OF TRIAL PRAISED BY EICHMANN’S DEFENSE CHIEF

Dr. Servatius praised the conduct of the trial here, declaring it was “a great spiritual achievement.” He expressed the opinion that the Eichmann trial was juridically a greater achievement than the Nuremberg War Crimes trials in 1946, when he acted as defense counsel for some of the leading Nazi war criminals.

Mr. Wechtenbruch said “the first time I saw Eichmann, I fell he would be hanged.” Like his chief, he declared also that “Eichmann received a fair trial throughout.” He answered “yes” to a question as to whether a German court would have convicted Eichmann under the same evidence adducted at the trial here.

One objection raised by Dr. Servatius was to the refusal by Israel’s Attorney General Gideon Hausner, chief prosecutor in the Eichmann case, to the release of the book of memoirs written by Eichmann since he was imprisoned here. Dr. Servatius said he would have submitted the book to the court, but for Mr. Hausner’s rejection of his request to obtain the manuscript.

Mr. Wechtenbruch said that the defense hopes to sell Eichmann’s memoirs to meet the costs of the appeal. The Israel Government had allocated $20,000 to help defray the defense expenses, but Mr. Wechtenbruch said the defense has already spent $32,500. The assistant defense counsel said Eichmann’s book contains “no criticism of Israel whatever.”

The appeal to the Israel Supreme Court, if filed early next month, cannot result in a high tribunal ruling before about March, since the high court will have to study not only the entire 300-page final judgment and sentence, but also the lengthy record of the trial itself which lasted exactly four months from April 11 to August 11, 1961. According to law, the appeal must be heard by a minimum of three members of the Supreme Court and, in any case, by an odd number of justices.

NEXT STORY