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Jewish organization not please with Estonia

  • 2008-12-12
  • TBT staff in cooperation with BNS

TALLINN- The Jewish human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Centerhas once again ranked Estoniaamong the countries that have completely failed in bringing Nazi criminals tojustice.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center's report on the worldwide investigation andprosecution of Nazi war criminals covering the period from April 1, 2007 toMarch 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 tocountries in which "there are no legal obstacles to the investigation andprosecution of suspected Nazi war criminals, but whose efforts, or lackthereof, 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 therequisite 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 whichrefuse in principle to investigate suspected Nazi war criminals because oflegal (statute of limitation) or ideological restrictions.

When asked by BNS forcomment, superintendent of the Estoniansecurity police Andres Kahar said that crimes against humanity and crimes ofgenocide are the most grave crimes.

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

Kahar said that in the investigation of such crimes the security police wasacting solely on the basis of concrete evidence, not someone's beliefs orconvictions.

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

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

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

In category X came countries which failed to submit pertinent data: did notrespond to the questionnaire, but clearly did not take any action toinvestigate 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, Uruguayand Venezuela.