France refuses Nazi collaborator Papon re-trial

29th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 29 (AFP) - France's highest court of appeal, the Cour de Cassation, ruled Thursday that the Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon does not qualify for a second trial on appeal, as his lawyers have been demanding.

PARIS, April 29 (AFP) - France's highest court of appeal, the Cour de Cassation, ruled Thursday that the Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon does not qualify for a second trial on appeal, as his lawyers have been demanding.

Instead the Cour de Cassation will itself review the 93-year-old's 1998 conviction by a court in Bordeaux. However its review, due on June 11, will not examine the substance of the case against him, but only verify that the law was properly followed.

Papon, who was released in 2002 on medical grounds, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for organising the deportation of French Jews to Nazi concentration camps in World War II.

In February a judicial committee ruled that the Cour de Cassation should review his conviction. However Papon's lawyers were pushing for a full re-trial.

The argument arose because a first review by the Cour de Cassation in 1999 was cancelled after Papon failed to hand himself in to police the night before, as was then required by the law. Since then the rule has been changed as a result of a condemnation by the European Court of Human Rights.

In the meantime French law has also been changed to allow full appeals in jury trials, but the court ruled Thursday that this does not apply to Papon because his conviction was pronounced before 2000 when the law came into effect.


© AFP

                                              Subject: French news

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