PARIS (Jan. 16)
The Bolivian public prosecutor, Hernando Acha Siles, has asked the Supreme Court to extradite Klaus Altmann, who as Klaus Barbie was known as the “butcher of Lyon” during the Nazi occupation of France, to West Germany, according to French radio reports from La Paz.
Acha Siles told the court that West Germany had demanded his extradition for war crimes and genocide and that the extradition request should be honored because the two countries have an extradition treaty.
Barbie, who fled to South America after the war and obtained Bolivian citizenship under the name of Altmann, has been accused of the deportation and death of thousands of Jews and French resistance fighters.
The French government, which sentenced him to death in absentia after the war for crimes he committed while he served as gestapo chief in Lyon, has several times asked for his extradition. The Bolivian Supreme Court has rejected France’s demand, arguing that the two countries have no mutual extradition treaty. Barbie is also charged by the French with the murder of war-time resistance leader Jean Moulin.