COLOGNE (May. 17)
Dr. Robert Servatius, Adolf Eichmann’s West German defense attorney, disclosed today he had started action in a Cologne court which could have the effect of delaying final disposition of the case of the former Gestapo colonel. The Israel Supreme Court will announce on May 29 its ruling in Eichmann’s appeal from a death sentence imposed by a Jerusalem district court last December 15.
Dr. Servatius told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he had filed in the Cologne Administrative Court a complaint against the West German Foreign Office. He said he filed the action to obtain court sanction against the Foreign Office for failing to intervene on Eichmann’s behalf.
The attorney said, that according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, kidnaping was a violation of international law. He added that “since the Federal Republic signed the charter and the United Nations condemned Eichmann’s abduction, the Foreign Office was asked to intervene” but refused to do so. He expressed the hope that the court would order the Foreign Office to demand Eichmann’s extradition. However, he acknowledged that may be difficult, since there are no diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel.
He said that, if the Cologne court rejected his complaint, he would file suit in a Federal court. Then, if necessary, he would carry the case to the Council of Europe’s Commission on Human Rights. He said he did not know whether any similar case had ever been taken to or judged by that Commission.
Commenting on the fact that a date had not yet been set for a hearing in Cologne on his complaint, Dr. Servatius said he hoped the decision of “the slow-moving” West German courts would not come too late “because Israel might not wait, and execute Eichmann immediately after the verdict.” He did not refer to the fact that, if the Israel Supreme Court sustains the verdict against Eichmann, he planned to file an appeal for clemency with President Izhak Ben-Zvi,which would delay action on the execution for a time.
He said he had been getting many letters from Germans and Jews appealing for Eichmann’s life. He added that none of the requests from the Germans involved anti-Semitic attitudes, but rather argued for clemency in religious and political terms.