AMSTERDAM (Jul. 18)
The European Commission for Human Rights in Strassbourg has dismissed the appeal by Joseph Kotaella, one of the last three German war criminals still imprisoned in Holland, to the government of The Netherlands. kotaella and his lawyer had claimed that he should be released in view of the European Treaty on Human Rights and discriminatory treatment by the Dutch authorities and “inhuman punishment.”
All Dutch war criminals who were originally sentenced to life imprisonment later had their sentences changed to 20 years imprisonment and have been released years ago. The European Commission concluded that there is no legal basis for reducing kotaella’s life sentence. It also observed that kotaella had already been pardoned because his original death sentence was changed into life imprisonment.
The Commission, on the basis of information received, also rejected kotaella’s appeal which included the reference to his ill health. Though he is partly paralyzed, the Commission felt his illness is not as grave as kotaella claimed.