Austria May Extend Date for Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals

Informed sources said here today that the Austrian Government will probably act soon to extend the effective date of the statute of limitations for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals.

The sources said that the extension will be based on a revival of an Austrian law which stipulated there was no limitation for crimes carrying the death penalty. Although the death penalty has since been abolished, plans call for revival of the law and both coalition parties have announced they considered such a procedure possible.

Chancellor Klaus has offered his “personal opinion” that it would not be an innovation for Austrian legislation to have no limitation for prosecution for murder or for instigation to murder. The Socialist party has announced officially it would intercede for extension of the date of the statute of limitations. It was considered possible that a Cabinet meeting scheduled for next week would give unanimous consent to these proposals, setting the stage for submission of appropriate legislation to Parliament before Easter.

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