Source: Jewish Western Bulletin
Thursday June 15, 1995 (A1)
PARIS (JTA) – Paul Touvier, the first and only Frenchman convicted
for crimes against humanity, has lost his appeal against the life
sentence imposed on him April 20, 1994.
The Cour de Cassation, France’s supreme court, rejected the appeal
Touvier and his lawyers have exhausted all possible legal ways to
change the sentence, according to French law.
Touvier, who was the head of the collaborationist French militia of
Lyon during World War II, was involved in the execution of seven
Jewish hostages on Rillieux-la-Page on June 29, 1944. He can ask for
the pardon of French President Jacques Chirac, but the chances of
success of such a request are not good, according to observers here.
Three other Frenchmen – Remi Bousquet, Jean Leguay and Maurice Papon
– have been charged with crimes against humanity, but their cases
never went to trial.
Bousquet was appointed Vichy minister of police in 1942. He was
charged with having ordered the arrest and deportation of tens of
thousands of Jews during the war. But when he was about to be
indicted for crimes against humanity, he was murdered. The man who
killed Bousquet on June 8, 1993, was described as mentally
Leguay was indicted in 1979 for organizing the first mass roundup of
French Jews in 1942. In 1989, only weeks before the start of
prosecution, he died of natural causes at the age of 79.
Papon was a high-ranking member of the French administration in
charge of the Bordeaux area during World War II. At a time when his
region was not yet occupied by the Nazis, he signed orders to arrest
and deport 1,690 Jews.
Papon, now in his 80s, served the French government after the war,
becoming a Cabinet member in the 1970s. Papon was first charged with
crimes against humanity in 1981 and was indicted in 1983. He has not
been brought to trial and some believe that he never will. But
according to some reports leaked to the press before last month’s
presidential election, Papon may stand trial in the fall.