PARIS (Jun. 4)
Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie was questioned by two ranking legal officials at his prison cell in Lyon. It was reportedly a final interrogation before the former gestapo chief known as “the butcher of Lyon” is put on trial.
But the trial has been postponed repeatedly since Barbie was apprehended by French authorities after his expulsion from Bolivia in February, 1983 and no date has yet been set.
The interrogation, in the presence of Barbie’s lawyer, Jacques Verges, was necessitated by a court ruling last December drawing a distinction between “war crimes” for which there is a 25 year statute of limitations and “crimes against humanity” for which there is no statute of limitations.
Barbie originally was charged with six counts of crimes against humanity. These are expected to be reduced to three when he finally goes to trial, including the deportation in 1944 of Jewish children from a school in Izieu in southeastern France. (By Ron Popeski.)