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Sweden Rejects Political Asylum Bid by a Nazi War Criminal

The Swedish government has rejected a request for political asylum made by Karl Linnas, the former chief of the Nazi concentration camp at Tartu, Estonia, who is facing deportation from the United States, the World Jewish Congress reported here.

Representatives of Swedish Jewry had expressed concern recently over reports in the Stockholm press that the government had received an asylum request from Linnas. The U.S. Department of State ruled last year that Linnas was ineligible for asylum in the United States.

Georg Andersson, Sweden’s Minister of Immigration, in disclosing his government’s decision last Thursday, stated that materials provided by the U.S. government showed that American courts “have conducted extensive inquiries which proved that Linnas had a leading role in a Nazi concentration camps.”

Noting that “war crimes cannot be compared to any other kind of criminal activity,” Andersson declared that the Swedish government wanted it understood that “Sweden will not and cannot become a haven for war criminals.”

Linnas, 67, is currently in federal custody in New York, pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision on his petition for review of a May 8 decision of the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals approving his deportation to the Soviet Union.

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