• Short Summary

    THE LOWER HOUSE OF THE WEST GERMAN PARLIAMENT, THE BUNDESTAG, TODAY (THURSDAY) VOTED ITS FINAL APPROVAL TO LEGISLATION ALLOWING THE PROSECUTION OF WAR CRIMINALS UNTIL THE END OF 1969.

  • Description

    THE LOWER HOUSE OF THE WEST GERMAN PARLIAMENT, THE BUNDESTAG, TODAY (THURSDAY) VOTED ITS FINAL APPROVAL TO LEGISLATION ALLOWING THE PROSECUTION OF WAR CRIMINALS UNTIL THE END OF 1969.THE VOTE WAS 364 TO 96 AGAINST AND IT BROUGHT FORWARD TO DECEMBER 31, 1949 AS THE STARTING TIME FOR THE 20 YEAR PERIOD IN WHICH PROSECUTIONS MAY BE OPENED FOR NAZI WAR CRIMES.

    IN EFFECT, THE NEW LEGISLATION EXTENDS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS BY FOUR-AND-A-HALF YEARS.IT HAD BEEN SUGGESTED THAT THE PERIOD MIGHT HAVE BEEN EXTENDED FOR ANYTHING FROM 10 TO 20 YEARS, BUT OPPOSITION ON BOTH SIDES OF THE CHAMBER TO A PERIOD LONGER THAN FIVE YEARS WAS SUCH THAT NO OTHER PROPOSAL WOULD HAVE GAINED THE NECESSARY PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY.

    THE TENSE DEBATE OPENED THIS MORNING WITH A PROPOSAL FROM DR.MAX GUEDE, A MEMBER OF THE RULING CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND A FORMER PROSECUTOR-GENERAL, TO BRING THE STARTING DATE OF THE 20 YEAR PERIOD FORWARD TO DECEMBER 31, 1949.ON THAT DATE WEST GERMANY GAINED LIMITED SOVEREIGNTY AND ITS COURTS SECURED MORE AUTHORITY IN TRYING WAR CRIMINALS.

    A SECONDARY PROPOSAL THAT NEW PROSECUTIONS BE LIMITED TO MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS WAS REFERRED BACK TO THE BUNDESTAG'S LEGAL COMMITTEE.THIS WAS DESIGNED TO SIMPLIFY THE TASK OF THE COURTS, WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE BE REQUIRED TO CONDUCT A VAST RANGE OF UNCONNECTED CASES.

    THE MEASURE NOW GOES TO THE WEST GERMAN UPPER HOUSE, AND THE FEDERAL PRESIDENT, HERR LUEBKE, IS EXPECTED TO SIGN TODAY'S MEASURE IN TIME FOR ITS PROCLAMATION AS LAW, PROBABLY ON MAY 7.THIS IS ONE DAY BEFORE THE OLD STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS EXPIRES.

    IN THE MEANTIME, THE MOVE HAS CAUSED A SPLIT IN CHANCELLOR ERHARD'S GOVERNMENT.DR.EWALD BUCHER, WEST GERMANY'S JUSTICE MINISTER, RESIGNED AFTER TODAY'S VOTE.HE HAD BEEN JUSTICE MINISTER SINCE DECEMBER 1962, AND HAD PREVIOUSLY EXPRESSED 'DIFFERING LEGAL VIEWS' ON ATTEMPTS TO EXTEND THE STATUTE.

    A BRIEF LETTER TO CHANCELLOR ERHARD STATED THAT THE MINISTER COULD NOT FIND IT POSSIBLE TO SIGN THE DRAFT LAW, WHEN IT MEETS WITH FINAL APPROVAL, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF HIS OFFICE.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4UR15ABLSSOKDJJIBY89DVG3Z
    Media URN:
    VLVA4UR15ABLSSOKDJJIBY89DVG3Z
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/03/1965
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:06:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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