Letter: The case for Nazi war crimes trials

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The Independent Online
Sir: In her argument against continuing with Nazi war crimes trials, Gitta Sereny (21 August) uses the badly mishandled Demjanjuk case to prove her point.

Yet the recent judgment by Lord Milligan in the Court of Sessions at Edinburgh in the case of Antony Gecas vs Scottish Television demonstrates that it is possible to obtain the forensic evidence and reliable testimony necessary for a war crimes trial. True, the Edinburgh hearing was a defamation case, but to defend its statements about Mr Gecas, STV mounted the equivalent of a war crimes inquiry. The result was a crushing defeat for Mr Gecas.

Ms Sereny is simply wrong to assert there can never be reliable eyewitnesses. In the Gecas case, as in others, former members of units involved in atrocities have testified against old comrades. When added to the mass of documentary evidence that is now available to us, this makes trials wholly feasible. In such circumstances, it is a betrayal of justice not to act.

Yours sincerely,


London, NW6

21 August