Group of 7 could provide evidence

  • 2000-02-10
  • By Blake Lambert
RIGA - The Simon Wiesenthal Center submitted a list of seven people who could potentially give evidence against alleged war criminal Konrads Kalejs to the President's Chancellery on Feb. 1.

The list was then handed over to the prosecutor general's office for further investigation.

"These are individuals who were convicted in the Soviet Union of serving in the Arajs Kommando and participating in crimes," said Efraim Zuroff, the Center's Israel director and its chief Nazi hunter.

Zuroff would not say the names of the seven people or if they are rehabilitated and cleared of crimes during the Soviet occupation.

But he said the people are currently living in Latvia and he hoped they have information which will be helpful in pursuing the case of Kalejs.

"We are looking through the archives to learn about these people and their possible connection to Kalejs. Then we are looking for the information they could give us," said Dzintra Subrovska, the press secretary for the prosecutor general's office.

Zuroff, who has said very few victims are still alive who would remember Kalejs, stated previously the key to this investigation is former officers in the Arajs Kommando.

"Our thinking is these people who perpetrated [these lies] have the highest likelihood of being able to relate what Konrads Kalejs did or did not do," he said.

Nevertheless, Subrovska doubted there will be any new information or evidence before the international prosecutors conference in Riga on Feb. 16-17.