A U.S. representative has personally delivered a letter signed by some 60 other congressmen to the president of Costa Rica, demanding that an accused Nazi war criminal be extradited to Ukraine.
Bodhan Koziy, who apparently has been living in a suburb of the capital city of San Jose for the last decade, was a Ukrainian police official during World War II.
The letter, handed to Costa Rican President Jose Figueres last week by U.S. Rep. Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.), states, “On the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, we ask our ally in fighting the Nazis to remove its sanctuary for one of the perpetrators of Nazi genocide.”
“Judges in the United States and prosecutors in Germany affirmed that Koziy was a Nazi policeman in Ukraine, where he shot and killed – amongst others – a 4- year-old,” the letter also said.
If the Costa Rican government does not respond to the renewed effort to extradite Koziy, a formal complaint will be registered with the U.N. Human Rights Commission, and the U.S. Congress will be approached to take diplomatic action against Costa Rica, said Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress.
In the past the Costa Rican government “stonewalled us,” Steinberg said.
No one at the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington was available for comment.
The letter to the leader of Costa Rica also said, “Koziy has had haven in Costa Rica for the past decade. We urge you in the strongest terms to consider how the international reputation of Costa Rica is suffering. As a country known for its defense of human rights, Costa Rica should end its sanctuary to a known Nazi murderer.”
Koziy, the former owner of a motel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 1982 after a trial in Florida in which eyewitness testimony described the murder of the girl.
The U.S. Justice Department obtained a court order to deport him in 1984, but he fled to Costa Rica.
In 1986, Costa Rica refused the Soviet Union’s for Koziy’s extradition. A year later, the Costa Rican government overruled a local court order to extradite him to the Soviet Union.