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Jewish organization not please with Estonia

Dec 12, 2008
TBT staff in cooperation with BNS

TALLINN- The Jewish human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has once again ranked Estonia among the countries that have completely failed in bringing Nazi criminals to justice.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center's report on the worldwide investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals covering the period from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, published lately, again gives Estonia the low rating of F2, as Australia, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.

F-2 is described as "failure in practice" and it is given to countries in which "there are no legal obstacles to the investigation and prosecution of suspected Nazi war criminals, but whose efforts, or lack thereof, have resulted in complete failure during the period under review, primarily due to the absence of political will to proceed and/or a lack of the requisite resources and/or expertise."

Ranked in cetegory F-1, or "failure in principle," were Norway, Sweden and Syria. The Simon Wiesenthal Center says these are countries which refuse in principle to investigate suspected Nazi war criminals because of legal (statute of limitation) or ideological restrictions.

When asked by BNS for comment, superintendent of the Estonian security police Andres Kahar said that crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide are the most grave crimes.

"In the investigation of such crimes it is not possible to base one's actions on any quotas, or the country or regime by which or in the interest of which these crimes were committed," he said.

Kahar said that in the investigation of such crimes the security police was acting solely on the basis of concrete evidence, not someone's beliefs or convictions.

"I would like to specifically emphasize that in a country of rule of law the purpose of criminal proceedings cannot be to get into a scoreboard," Kahar said.

Ranked as A in the survey were only the United States. Next, at B, came Canada, Germany and Italy.

The category C included Austria, Poland and Serbia, while D was given to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Denmark and Switzerland. The rating E was given to Finland, Greece and New Zealand.

In category X came countries which failed to submit pertinent data: did not respond to the questionnaire, but clearly did not take any action to investigate suspected Nazi war criminals during the period under review.

Ranked as the latter were Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa-Rica, the Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.

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