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German Ministers Would Extend Statute of Limitations on War Crimes

February 16, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A conference of ministers of justice of the West German states has been called to consider the issue of the statute of limitations for former Nazis accused of war crimes, which expires in 1969. The conference will be held in March. The ministers favor postponing the deadline or abolishing it, according to the Minister of Justice of Rhineland-Pfalz, Herr Schneider, who said this would be the task of the conference. He said today that since 1945, German courts had passed sentence on 6,140 Nazi criminals.

Under existing laws, accused war criminals will automatically be free from the threat of trial unless legal proceedings were initiated against them prior to the 1969 deadline. That deadline was set by the West German Parliament in 1965 when the German 20-year statute of limitations would otherwise have freed thousands of suspected war criminals from further investigation and trial.

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