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Subject: Costa Rica says it respecting law in Nazi case
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2000 21:06:41 GMT
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Costa Rica says it respecting law in Nazi case
11:54 p.m. Jan 06, 2000 Eastern

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Under fire from a Jewish group
abroad, Costa Rica on Thursday defended its decision not to deport an
alleged Nazi war criminal, saying it had no extradition request any any
foreign country.

The New York-based World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Wednesday accused the
Central American country of sheltering Bohdan Koziy, a 77-year-old
Ukrainian accused of executing a 4-year-old Jewish girl in Ukraine
during the Second World War.

The WJC said Costa Rica was breaking international war crimes laws and
would make formal charges against the country at the U.N. Human Rights
Commission in Geneva in the coming weeks.

But Costa Rican Security Minister Rogelio Ramos said ``we don't even
know where to send him because no country is requesting him.''

``We are going to act strictly in accordance with the law,'' he said.

Costa Rica said it previously rejected a 1988 extradition request by
the former Soviet Union because the USSR would not rule out the death
penalty for Koziy. Since then, it has not received a formal extradition
request from any other country.

Koziy went to the United States in 1949, won citizenship in 1956, but
was stripped of it in 1982 after a trial that exposed his atrocities.

Witnesses at the trial in Florida described how he murdered a Jewish
family, including the girl he shot at point blank range as she pleaded
for her life outside a police station in Lysiec, Ukraine, in 1943.
German courts also found that he personally committed these crimes.

The U.S. Justice Department won a court order for his deportation in
1984 but he fled to Costa Rica.

Koziy and his wife Yaroslava live legally in Costa Rica as pensioners.








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