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War Criminal’s Widow Loses Request

January 8, 2002
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An Australian court has refused a request from the widow of an alleged war criminal to have the Australian and Latvian governments pay the cost of his recent court cases.

Konrad Kalejs, 88, died in Melbourne, Australia, last month as he waited for the court’s decision on his appeal against extradition to Latvia to face charges of genocide and war crimes.

The Latvian government claimed Kalejs had been an officer in the Arajs Kommando unit, responsible for the deaths of 30,000 Jews during World War II.

Kalejs arrived in Australia in 1950 and became a citizen in 1957. He moved to the United States in 1959, where he made a fortune in property development.

He was expelled from the United States, Canada and United Kingdom for lying about his wartime activities.

His Illinois-based widow, Austra Kalnins, 82, is the executor of Kalejs’ estate and had applied to the Australian court to have legal costs paid by the two governments.

In dismissing Kalnins’ request, Justice Susan Kenny ruled that the judgement on the appeal against extradition could not be heard due to Kalejs’ death.

There have been no successful prosecutions of Nazi war criminals in Australia.

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