Genocide has no expiry date

Ottawa Citizen | Tuesday, April 02, 2002 | Irving Abella

Re: When not to prosecute a war criminal, March 19, 2002

Shame on letter-writer Howard Margolian for giving credence to the canard that "lobby-group interference and identity politics" are a backdrop for the government's commitment to ensuring that Canada is not a haven for Nazi war criminals.

His unsubstantiated remark that such factors have "prejudiced the right of various accused to a fair trial" is as ridiculous as it is false.

Every person indicted in Canada for committing Nazi war crimes or accused of lying about their wartime records to enter Canada fraudulently has enjoyed complete due process of law and full access to our judicial system, up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Is it any wonder these cases, once launched, drag on interminably?

Mr. Margolian argues that we should spare holding the aged and infirm accountable for the heinous crimes they committed when they were young and robust. Sorry, Canadian courts have ruled otherwise, and justly so, as there is no statute of limitations on genocide.

The victims cold-bloodedly murdered in the Holocaust would have loved the opportunity to grow old. The perpetrators of these war crimes do not deserve the privilege of Canadian citizenship and are a blot on Canadian society.

It is a matter of fundamental fairness that the cases against them become part of the orderly administration of justice in Canada.

There should be no reward for longevity.

Irving Abella,
Chairman, War crimes committee Canadian Jewish Congress