TORONTO (Mar. 27)
The West German Justice Ministry has confirmed that 32 residents of Canada out of 110 currently under investigation are “suspected” Nazi war criminals.
The list of 110 names was provided to the West German authorities by the Canadian Ambassador in Bonn. According to Dieter Kranz, the prosecuting attorney at the central office of the Justice Ministry for the state of Baden-Wuertemburg, “Of these they recognized 32 as suspects.” Kranz made the disclosure in a telephone interview with the Toronto Star.
He said he received the list from the Canadian envoy early this year and returned it on January 14. Canada’s Solicitor General, Robert Kaplan, revealed recently that a large-scale investigation was underway by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of 110 Canadian residents suspected of war crimes.
Kranz told the Star that there are no immediate plans to ask for extradition. He did not identify the 32 suspects or reveal details of their alleged crimes. Until now. West Germany has requested the extradition of only one Canadian resident, Helmut Rauca, whose case is now before the Ontario Court of Appeals.
The Netherlands requested the extradition of another Canadian, Jacob Luitjens, In 1981 but the Canadian authorities declined on grounds that the alleged offense, “aiding and abetting the enemy in time of war” was not an extraditable offense under the treaty between Canada and Holland. Luitjens, who is on the faculty of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, denied he was ever a Nazi collaborator. A Dutch court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment in 1948.
Meanwhile, Svend Robinson, a New Democratic Party member of Canada’s Parliament, has urged Kaplan to seek legislation that would allow Canada to prosecute suspected Nazi war criminals living in the country. Present laws allow only extradition procedures.