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Editor's note: The Simon Wiesenthal Center has demanded the prosecution and ritual torment of elderly anti-Communists residing in Britain and of course the British establishment dutifully complied. But a British jury has refused complicity in this hate-filled process:
January 18, 1997 London, England
An $8 Million investigation into an alleged Nazi war crime collapsed yesterday when an Old Bailey jury decided that an 86-year-old former carpenter was unfit to plead to charges of murdering three Jews 55 years ago. The attempt to prosecute Szymon Serafinowicz was stopped without the case coming to trial because the jury accepted that he was suffering from dementia.
The defense had said that, as a result of the dementia, believed to be caused by Alzheimer's disease, he would be unable to follow the case or defend himself adequately. Serafinowicz, of Banstead, Surrey, who is suffering from skin cancer, showed no reaction to the decision. He had to be helped in and out of the pre-trial hearing.
Nicholas Bowers, his attorney, said after the jury's decision: "I think he is relieved, but it is difficult to know how much of the last eight days he understood. My client's health has deteriorated rapidly in recent years, especially in the last three and a half years during which he has suffered the death of his wife and then the incredible pressure of these proceedings.
"It would have been impossible and unrealistic for him to endure the strain of a lengthy and difficult trial. However, he regrets he will not have the chance to clear his name."
But the collapse of the case vindicated statesmen who opposed the 1991 War Crimes Act, which proved the catalyst for a series of investigations by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service costing up to $28 million.
Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar, a former Cabinet minister, said: "This is what we said would happen when we opposed the Bill. "We said that people would be too old and it would be quite impossible to produce a case. It has been a grotesque waste of money."
Lord Tebbit, another of the Bill's opponents, said: "I never believed that anybody after all these years would be found fit for trial, would be found guilty and then be found fit to serve a prison sentence. That was obvious years ago."
The Crown Prosecution Service said that five other potential cases would continue to be considered on their merits. The Metropolitan police is examining a a further seven. The Crown had brought witnesses from around the world to testify to the atrocities during committal proceedings last year. They were due to return to repeat their accounts if the case had gone to trial.
Serafinowicz's son, Peter, a 53-year-old scaffolder from Liverpool, said: "It's like a black cloud being lifted from over our heads.
A further seven alleged war criminals are being investigated by a specialist Scotland Yard unit.
Though the unit's work was said to have been wound down in 1995, six policemen and four civilians are still trying to piece together new cases.
Five cases are also being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service. Among them is thought to be a suspected former SS guard allegedly linked to the deaths of two prisoners at Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.
Since its inception in 1991, the unit has travelled to more than a dozen countries to investigate 375 cases. Officers found insufficient evidence in 368.
The collapse of the Crown's case against Serafinowicz may spell the end of what has been a long, fiercely-contested battle to bring alleged war criminals living in Britain to trial. Members of Parliament (MPs) were forced to make the first use of the Parliament Act in 40 years to get the 1991 War Crimes Act on to the statute book following fierce opposition in the Lords. During a stormy passage through both Houses, the measure divided even the Cabinet. Lady Thatcher, then Prime Minister, was a leading supporter while John Major opposed it.
The origins of the legislation can be traced to October 1986 when the Simon Wiesenthal Center, established in occupied Palestine to track down anti-Communists and Christians it claimed were Nazi war criminals, sent Downing Street a list of 17 people said to be living in Britain. At the same time a television program identified one alleged war criminal and obtained 34 more suspects' names from the Soviet Union.
Douglas Hurd, then Home Secretary, concluded that 10 of Wiesenthal's 17 names and seven on the Soviet list might be living in Britain. For the next two years the parliamentary war crime group, headed by Lord Merlyn-Rees, former Home Secretary, and Greville Janner, Labour MP, campaigned for action.
But because the offences were not committed in Britain and the suspects were not then British citizens, the law would have to be changed to permit prosecution. In 1988 Sir Thomas Hetherington, the then Director of Public Prosecutions, and William Chalmers, Crown Agent for Scotland, in response to pressure from international Jewish agencies, recommended a change in the law.
The collapse of the Serafinowicz prosecution means the Scottish court hearing involving Anton Gecas, a retired Lithuanian mining engineer, remains the closest Britain has come to a war crime trial. He sued for libel after a Scottish Television report accused him of killing Jews.
Last year Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, then Lord Advocate, said that a three-year inquiry had not produced enough evidence to prosecute Gecas and 16 other alleged criminals in Scotland.
It was a decision that deeply dismayed supporters of war crimes trials because many saw the Gecas case as the strongest compiled so far by researchers around the world. Once it was abandoned, the impetus drained from the Scottish initiative. Many will now be watching to see if the English initiative goes the same way.
Michael A. Hoffman II's comment: Here are octogenarians being dragged into court on charges of killing two or three Jewish civilians. These are of course crimes but what of the thousands of Zionists residing in Britain who slaughtered hundreds and even thousands of Palesatinians and Lebanese in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon (under Begin), during Operation Iron Fist (under Rabin) and in last year's Operation Grapes of Wrath (under Peres)?
What of the tens of thousands of Communist war criminals still living who slaughtered Christians? Why no hunt for them?
Members of both groups of suspects--Israeli and Communist-- are living in Britain today, but not a move is made toward their prosecution. They are somehow immune.
The war crimes charade is an abject lesson in Zionist power and vengeance. They must have their pound of flesh from old men and it must be anti-Communists and Christians who are made to bear the exclusive opprobrium of "war criminal."
This is the psychological warfare of the Wiesenthal Institute at work. No Jew must ever be prosecuted for a war crime. The Mark of Cain is to be affixed upon the opponents of the Jews alone.
It's clever. But this time an English jury saw through it. God grant that the tide will continue to turn against Jewish psychological warfare dressed in human rights attire.
--Michael A. Hoffman II
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