Brandt Sees ‘misunderstanding’ About Statute of Limitations, Says Some Trials to Go on

Foreign Minister Willy Brandt, of West Germany, said at a press conference here today that there is a “misunderstanding” in the world that the statute of limitations on the prosecution of Nazi war criminals meant there would be no more war crimes trials after it goes into effect on Dec. 31, 1969. Mr. Brandt said that if the present law is not changed, 12,000-15,000 cases would nevertheless be dealt with since they have already been brought before courts. He said that enactment of the statute meant that no new investigations or cases could be brought up but added that there was a proposal before the Cabinet on the issue. Mr. Brandt did not elaborate on the proposal. There is, however, a considerable body of opinion inside and out of Germany that the statute of limitations, which concerns only Nazis charged with crimes involving murder, should be postponed if not abolished altogether.

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