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Deportation cases to proceed against 3 alleged war criminals

TORONTO, Sept. 29 (JTA) – Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that deportation proceedings against three alleged Nazi war criminals can proceed despite defense claims that the government had improperly interfered in their cases. Proceedings against Erichs Tobiass, Helmut Oberlander and Johann Dueck stopped last year after a judge ruled that there had been improper discussions between the chief justice of the Federal Court and a lawyer from Canada’s Justice Department. The high court ruled last week that the secret meetings, held to discuss ways to speed up the proceedings, had not prevented the three from receiving a fair trial. The high court ruled that the trial could proceed after a new judge was appointed to handle the case. Lawyers for the Justice Department maintain that all three were involved in Nazi-ordered killings of civilians during World War II. Canadian Jewish leaders, who have been increasingly impatient with what they charge is Canada’s poor record of dealing with suspected war criminals, welcomed the ruling. “The suggestion that deportation proceedings be dropped was way out of proportion to the severity of any impropriety that took place,” said Irving Abella, chair of the war crimes committee of Canadian Jewish Congress. “We applaud the Supreme Court justices for recognizing the fact we are dealing with allegations of heinous crimes.”