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Court rejects Eichmann files bid
Adolf Eichmann standing in his glass cage in the Jerusalem courtroom where
he was tried for war crimes committed during the Second World War (AP)
Germany's highest court has rejected a newspaper's bid to gain unrestricted
access to all the foreign intelligence service's files on Adolf Eichmann,
known as the architect of the Holocaust.
The Federal Constitutional Court said today that the complaint was dismissed
last month. No reasons were given for the decision.
The Bild newspaper had sought to overturn a lower court's ruling last year
that the BND intelligence agency was within its rights to black out passages
from the files sought by a journalist attempting to shed light on whether
West German authorities knew in the 1950s where Eichmann fled after the
Second World War.
Bild quoted its lawyer, Christoph Partsch, as saying that the only
possibility to gain full access would be to go to the European Court of
Israeli agents abducted Eichmann in Buenos Aires in 1960 and brought him to
Jerusalem for trial.
Eichmann, who helped organise the extermination of Europe's Jews as the head
of the Gestapo's Jewish affairs office, was found guilty of war crimes,
sentenced to death and hanged in 1962.
Bild has reported that West German intelligence knew as early as 1952 he was
In 2006, the CIA released documents showing that it wrote to its West German
counterpart in 1958, saying it had information that Eichmann "is reported to
have lived in Argentina under the alias 'Clemens' since 1952".
The BND has said that most of its files on Eichmann are already public and
only a small portion still needs to be blacked out because of laws on
"protecting state security interests" and data protection.
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