TORONTO (Aug. 26)
A Canadian federal court has ruled that a deportation hearing for accused Nazi war criminal Josef Nemsila could continue.
Justice James Jerome said last Friday that a Canadian immigration official was wrong to rule that a 1910 law protecting immigrants who have been in Canada more than five years applied to Nemsila.
As a result of the immigration official’s decision, deportation proceedings against Nemsila had been halted last year.
Nemsila, 83, is accused of lying about his Nazi past when he came to Canada in 1950.
Nemsila, a legal resident of Canada, was allegedly a district commander in the notorious Hlinka Guard in the Nazi vassal state of Slovakia. He also is accused of participating in the roundup of the country’s 100,000 Jews and in their deportation to Auschwitz and other death camps in Poland.
Ed Morgan, legal counsel for the Canadian Jewish Congress, said, “Essentially, the federal court has said that the five-year clock never started running because he entered through misrepresentation.”
He added that the 1910 law was never “meant to protect people who have defrauded our immigration officials.”
David Matas, honorary senior legal counsel for B’nai Brith Canada, said the ruling by the Federal Court of Canada “is a welcome development after a series of procedural setbacks in prosecuting alleged Nazi war criminal Josef Nemsila.”
“B’nai Brith has always contended that Nemsila’s entry into Canada was based upon fraud and misrepresentation and was therefore unlawful,” Matas said.
Paul Vickery, the Canadian Justice Department’s director and general counsel for war crimes and crimes against humanity, said the decision last Friday gives the green light to a deportation hearing against another accused war criminal, Antanas Kenstavicius of Vancouver, British Columbia, who also allegedly lied to gain admission into Canada and who has never become a citizen.
Earlier this year, a Canadian federal judge ruled that no judicial interference existed in the case against Nemsila.