BONN (Dec. 27)
The issue of extension of the West German deadline on prosecution of Nazi war criminals will come to a head in Parliament on March 1 when Justice Minister Ewald Bucher is scheduled to submit a report on war crimes investigations, it was emphasized here today.
Informed sources said that if he did not satisfy the legislators that all suspected Nazi criminals will have been charged by May, Parliament will probably consider legislation to extend the statute of limitations. The statute is currently scheduled to end next May 8 and the West German refusal to extend it has caused widespread criticism both within and outside of West Germany.
The West German Cabinet announced last November it could not change the statute because such action would be unconstitutional. Most legal experts feel that a change to extend the deadline would require a constitutional amendment.