AMSTERDAM (Jun. 13)
A Dutch request to Argentina for the extradition of war criminal Abraham Kipp stands no chance of succeeding, according to the Netherlands’ public prosecutor.
Paul Brilman, who heads the Dutch effort to find missing Dutch war criminals abroad, said he has known for several years that Kipp was living in Argentina.
However, he said, the Argentine government turned down his request for Kipp’s extradition three times, saying the statute of limitations for war crimes had run out.
The fact that Kipp was living in a suburb of Buenos Aires resurfaced in the news recently after an Argentine television program showed Kipp and a Belgian war criminal, Wilhelm Sassen, a former aide to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, living in Argentina.
During World War II, Kipp was a member of the SS. He betrayed many persons in Holland during the German occupation and, following the war, was sentenced to life in prison. He served part of his term and then managed to escape in 1949 and reach Argentina.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the statute of limitations pertains to a 20-year maximum for trying someone for military crimes, according to rules established by the court in Nuremberg, Germany, following World War II.
“The question is whether Kipp’s crimes are military,” said Hier.
“There is no statute of limitations for crimes against humanity, but war crimes have a statute of limitations,” said Hier.
(Contributing to this report was JTA staff writer Susan Birnbaum in New York.)