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Resistance Fighters Protest Laws Blocking Further War Crimes Trials

Former anti-Nazi resistance fighters here strongly protested today the prospect that war criminals will escape trial through statutes of limitations which will become effective in Belgium and France on May 8, 1965.

Their displeasure was heightened by the likelihood that some war criminals, including Belgium’s arch-collaborator Leon Degrelle, will be ineligible for trial as of September 1964, due to his having been tried in absentia.

The International Union of Deportation and Resistance, a group actively seeking maximum prosecution of war criminals, plans to discuss this problem at its forthcoming meeting in Paris in October. Leaders of the Union fear that war criminals who escape punishment will be free to join and strengthen neo-Nazi movements. They expressed the hope today that governments possessing evidence against war criminals would examine the evidence for prompt legal action before their statutes of limitations set to expire, usually 20 years after the end of the Second World War, go into effect.

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