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West German Prosecutor Dismissed; Was Convicted As Naziwar Criminal

The state parliament of the Province of Rhineland-Pfalz decided unanimously today to dismiss Leo Drath, chief prosecutor in the City of Frankenthal, who had been suspended several months ago on charges that he was convicted as a Nazi war criminal shortly after World War II. All three political parties joined in the vote to fire him.

Drath was sentenced as a war criminal in Luxembourg, serving a prison sentence, After his release, he returned to his home in Frankenthal and later became the city’s chief prosecutor, His suspension was ordered when the former Rhineland-Pfalz Minister of Justice revealed his Nazi record and postwar conviction. A parliamentary committee investigated the charge and found it true.

The German Judges Association in Berlin warned in a resolution today against any relaxation in the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. The jurists criticized proposals in the Bundestag, the West German Parliamentary lower house, to adopt legislation distinguishing between “major” and “minor” war criminals which would give local prosecutors authority to drop charges against “minor” criminals. The jurists declared it was impossible to draw a line between more serious and less serious Nazi war crimes and that there should not be any division in the handling of the criminals.

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