PARIS (Jun. 25)
The court of appeals decided Wednesday to release its formal charge sheet against Klaus Barbie on July 9. According to court officials, the trial of the former Gestapo officer, known as the “Butcher of Lyon,” could start early next year.
The court met in closed session but court officials said the discussion centered on the precise legal definition of “crimes against humanity” which according to French law are not covered by the statute of limitations.
Several organizations of resistance fighers have asked the court to consider Nazi terror campaigns against underground fighters as crimes against humanity and not as war crimes, which are automatically covered by a 20 year proscription.
Neither Barbie nor his legal counsel Jacques Verges were in court. Verges submitted a written statement saying that all that he and his client want is for the trial to start as soon as possible.