Former Nazi compensation fund officials tried

21st May 2007, Comments 0 comments

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ A trial opened last week of former managers of a Polish-German fund compensating Nazi-era slave laborers who face charges they paid themselves tens of thousands of dollars (euros) in bonuses, the court press office said.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ A trial opened last week of former managers of a Polish-German fund compensating Nazi-era slave laborers who face charges they paid themselves tens of thousands of dollars (euros) in bonuses, the court press office said.

Prosecutors accuse the former head of the Polish-German Reconciliation Foundation, Jacek Turczynski, his deputy, Jan Parys, and two other top officials with illegally paying themselves bonuses totaling over 400,000 zlotys (US$143,000; 105,000 euros) in the late 1990s.

If convicted, they could face up to eight years in prison.

The trial was expected to go on for months.

The compensation scheme, set up in the 1990s and funded by the German and Austrian governments, has encountered management irregularities in Poland and its leadership has been changed on several occasions, most recently in 2006.

The alleged unlawful bonuses were exposed in a 2003 government-ordered audit.

Under the government's supervision, the foundation has paid out money to 500,000 Polish claimants who worked as forced laborers under the Nazis during World War II.

An estimated 1.5 million people forced to work for the Nazis, mostly non-Jews in eastern and central Europe, were eligible to receive payments.

AP

Subject: German news

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