DISTURBED BY APPEALS COURT DECISION,
ADL URGES ARGENTINA TO HOLD ACCUSED NAZI WAR CRIMINAL
FOR EXTRADITION TO ITALY PENDING APPEAL
New York, NY, August 24, 1995...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today deplored
the decision by an Argentine federal appeals court to overturn an extradition
order against an accused Nazi war criminal, and called on the Argentine
President to make certain Erich Priebke is held in custody pending an appeal.
Priebke is wanted in Italy for his part in the massacre of civilians during
World War II; the case will now go to the Argentine Supreme Court.
In a letter to Argentine President Carlos Menem, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL
National Director, wrote, "we deplore this decision that might allow
Priebke to remain in Argentina as a free citizen, taking advantage of the
freedom of the country, a privilege that he does not deserve as the accused
murderer of 335 Italian civilians in 1944."
Foxman said, "This ex-SS captain has admitted his role in Italy's worst
war atrocity. On television and in a book, he has told the world he participated
in the vicious killings in the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome in 1944. After
living peacefully in Argentina for years, he was finally going back to Italy
to face charges. He should not now be allowed to escape justice."
Earlier this year, ADL leaders had met with President Menem on a mission
to Argentina, and had discussed the importance of Priebke's extradition
at that time. Foxman also wrote Minister of Justice Dr. Rudolfo Barra this
week to express concern about the status of the case. "It is extremely
important," wrote Foxman, "that accused Nazi war criminals are
tried for their heinous crimes against humanity. The passage of time in
no way diminishes the importance of bringing these individuals to justice."
He requested that Argentina "do everything in its power to ensure that
this extradition takes place."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.