The Costa Rican ambassador to the United States is “hopeful” that the extradition of accused Nazi war criminal Bodhan Koziy will take place soon.
“We are very sorry that this case has not still been resolved,” Ambassador Sonia Picado said in a written statement.
According to the statement, the Costa Rican minister of foreign affairs, Fernando Naranjo, has been in “constant contact with the Jewish community which is working hard in order to get a request for extradition from the Ukrainian government.”
The ambassador’s statement comes as pressure has increased for Costa Rica to extradite Koziy to Ukraine.
Most recently, U.S. Rep. Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.) hand-delivered a letter, signed by some 60 other congressmen, to the Costa Rican president demanding that the accused Nazi be extradited.
“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 to President Jose Figueres said.
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 former owner of a motel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Koziy was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 1982. 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 request for Koziy’s extradition. A year later, the Costa Rican government overruled a local court order to extradite him to the Soviet Union.
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, Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress, said last week.