German court says blocking Eichmann files illegal

30th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

A German court said Friday the government had no legal basis to keep under wraps secret files on Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi architect of the Holocaust, potentially paving the way for their release.

Following a lawsuit by a freelance Argentinian journalist, the Federal Administrative Court ruled invalid the government's argument that releasing the 3,400-page archives on Eichmann would jeopardise Berlin's foreign policy.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's office, in charge of the secret services, which drew up the files, had also argued that publishing the files could endanger informants or relations with foreign intelligence agencies.

"After examining the files, the Federal Administrative Court has decided that the decision of the chancellor's office to block them is unlawful," the court said in a statement.

However, the court also said Merkel's office could present new reasons to block the files, which date mainly from the 1950s and 1960s.

Israeli agents kidnapped Eichmann, one of the main executors of Adolf Hitler's "final solution", the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II, in Buenos Aires in 1960.

He was brought to Israel for trial, where he was convicted and hanged in 1962.

© 2010 AFP

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