SANTIAGO DE CHILE (Feb. 24)
Justice Rafael Fontecilla, presiding Judge of Chile’s Supreme Court, ruled this weekend that Walter Rauff, former SS officer accused by West Germany of having murdered 97,000 Jews during World War II, must be extradited in accordance with a request from the Bonn Government. His attorneys immediately appealed the decision, and the court promised to hand down a final ruling next month.
Rauff, who is 56, was arrested here December 5, on the request of the West German Government. In favoring his extradition, Justice Fonticella handed down a 64-page decision, declaring there were enough documents, witnesses and other proofs to Justify sending him back to Germany to stand trial on the war crimes charges. However, Justice Fonticella specified that the man must be tried only for those murders for which he was responsible. According to the charges made by the Bonn Government, he was a Nazi “specialist” in the use of mobile gas vans for the annihilation of Jews.