PARIS (Nov. 4)
Klaus Barbie’s French lawyer said here that the Nazi war criminal was dangerously sick and that the French authorities are voluntarily depriving him of medical assistance to prevent his trial from taking place.
The lawyer, Jacques Verges, charged in a local radio interview broadcast in Lyon that the prison authorities “are doing their best to obtain either Barbie’s death or to bring him to a point where he will be intellectually unable to defend himself and testify at his trial.”
Barbie, who served as gestapo chief in the city of Lyon during the Nazi occupation of France, is scheduled to go on trial early next year on charges of crimes against humanity.
Several former resistance fighters have charged that the government is reluctant to put Barbie on the stand lest he compromise former resistance leaders suspected of having caused the arrest and ensuing death of France’s war-time resistance leader Jacques Moulin. Verges’ interview is the first time the authorities are charged with trying to bring about Barbie’s death.
France’s penitentiary administration and the governor of the Saint Joseph Prison in Lyon, where Barbie is detained, have denied the allegations. The prison governor said in a statement that “Barbie is regularly examined by first-rate specialists. “He added that many ordinary citizens would be delighted to enjoy the same high-quality medical service.”
There will be no Daily News Bulletin dated November 11, Veteran’s Day, a postal holiday.