FRANKFURT (Jul. 22)
The illness of the prosecutor and delaying tactics by the defense again hampered the trial here today of former SS officers Otto Hunsche and Herman Krumey, Adolf Eichmann’s chief aides in the wartime roundup and deportation to death camps of 450,000 Hungarian Jews.
Prosecutor Adolf Steinbacher, who suffered a heart attack yesterday, was unable to continue today and his two substitutes had to devote study time to files in the case be fore they were able to question the witness, Avner Less, an Israeli police officer who had interrogated Eichmann before the Naz’s trial in Jerusalem.
Immediately after the trial was resumed today, Hunsche’s defense counsel, Dr. H. Laternser, resumed his delaying tactics. The attorney protested against the witness being heard, ignoring the fact that Less had interrogated Eichmann, as well as the fact that the protocols which Mr. Less had brought to the trial had each page countersigned by Eichmann and that these had been turned over to the prosecution here. Dr. Laternser insisted on calling reports of Mr. Less’ conversations with Eichmann as “hearsay reports.”
A lengthy debate took place between the judge, the prosecution and the defense over the legal technicalities, posing the likelihood that the trial might last indefinitely because of defense counsel efforts to interrupt it consistently. The Israeli sat in the witness chair while the defense again raised arguments as to whether he should testify or whether the court should listen only to the tapes from which the reports to the prosecution were taken.
Finally, the court ordered testimony from Mr. Less, who then described the entire procedure of the Eichmann interrogation. He reported that between May 29, 1960, and the middle of January, 1961, 76 pages of material was taken from the one time Nazi transport expert. He said the contents were then typed, corrected by Eichmann and initialed by him.