Russia will not prosecutecase of Katyn massacre

5th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

5 August 2004, WARSAW - Russian prosecutors will not press criminal charges in connection with the 1940 Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia by the Soviet NKVD secret police in Russia's western Katyn forest, Polish PAP news agency reported Wednesday. After 64 years, Russian justice officials regard the statute of limitations on the crime as having expired. Polish authorities, however, see the massacre as a crime against humanity and therefore not subject to any limits. Russian author

5 August 2004

WARSAW - Russian prosecutors will not press criminal charges in connection with the 1940 Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia by the Soviet NKVD secret police in Russia's western Katyn forest, Polish PAP news agency reported Wednesday.

After 64 years, Russian justice officials regard the statute of limitations on the crime as having expired. Polish authorities, however, see the massacre as a crime against humanity and therefore not subject to any limits.

Russian authorities agree to release records of the investigation, Professor Leon Kieres, the head of Poland's Institute for National Remembrance War (IPN) crimes authority, told PAP.

Kieres and the IPN's chief war crimes prosecutor Witold Kulesza were in Moscow Wednesday for consultations with Russian military prosecutors investigating the Second World War Katyn crime.

Poland may begin its own criminal probe into Katyn after Russian prosecutors end theirs later this year, Kieres said.

Russian investigators have failed to specify how many Katyn suspects are still alive, he noted.

On Thursday the IPN officials are expected to meet with Russian presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky to discuss efforts to petition Ukraine for the release of records detailing 1939-40 NKVD killings of ethnic Poles in territories now belonging to Ukraine.

On orders of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, NKVD agents shot dead 22,000 Polish prisoners of war including officers, doctors, professors and clergymen in Katyn, western Russian, and Charkov, northeastern Ukraine.

Under communism, Moscow blamed the Katyn crime on Nazi Germany.

DPA

Subject: German news

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