GENEVA (Mar. 9)
Strengthening of a draft resolution that would ban statutes of limitations on the prosecution and trial of war criminals was requested here today by Israel before the Human Rights Commission. The Commission, holding its 23rd session, reached the item on statutes of limitations this morning as it continued to work on its 24-point agenda.
As the draft stands now, it would bar statutes of limitations for court actions against persons accused in general of “war crimes and crimes against humanity,” linking the definition of such crimes to the Allied charter which guided the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Israel’s Supreme Court Justice Haim H. Cohn, a member of the Commission, insisted today that the definition stress particularly “crimes of murder and mass murder.” He was supported by the representatives of Jamaica, Italy, Dahomey, Guatemala and the Philippine Islands.
A plea that the Commission speed its actions on banning war crimes statutes of limitations was voiced before the Commission by Dr. Maurice L. Perlzweig, who represents the World Jewish Congress. The WJC is among a number of world-wide non-governmental Jewish organizations that have a voice, but not a vote, before the Commission.
“There is need to work swiftly,” Dr. Perlzweig warned, “so that the General Assembly could adopt this Convention this year. Otherwise, many war criminals might escape just punishment.”