SANTIAGO (Apr. 28)
Former SS officer Walter Rauff was a free man today after the Chilean Supreme Court rejected a request from West Germany for his extradition to face charges of complicity in the wartime slaughter of 97, 000 Jews.
The full Supreme Court held that despite the charges against Rauff, who was arrested here last December and has been under detention since, the Chilean statute of limitations barred court action against him. The Chilean statute of limitations is 15 years. That of West Germany is 20 years. The ruling meant that Rauff was free to remain in Chile.
In its 10-page decision, which overturned a ruling both by a lower court and by a single Supreme Court justice, the high court held that mass slaughter of human beings for racial reasons was a perfidious crime meriting the loathing of the civilized world but that a court of justice had the duty to accept the statute of limitations, and to support the principles of international justice.