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Sunday, December 14, 1997 Published at 12:01 GMT



World

Canada hires Nazi hunter
image: [ Canada hopes the appointment of Neal Sher will jump-start the hunt for Nazi war criminals ]
Canada hopes the appointment of Neal Sher will jump-start the hunt for Nazi war criminals

Canada has appointed a prominent US Nazi hunter after criticism of its efforts to bring war criminals to justice.

Neal Sher, a Washington lawyer who led the US Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations for 12 years, will advise the Canadian Department of Justice's war crime's unit.

In the US, his office stripped dozens of suspected Nazi collaborators of American citizenship.

The Canadian government, which has been vociferously criticised by Jewish groups, hopes Mr Sher can do the same in Canada.

Jewish groups say there as many as 300 Nazi collaborators living in Canada. Only a dozen cases are being pursued and only one person has ever been stripped of his citizenship.

"There's no doubt in my mind the corner has been turned," Mr Sher told a news conference attended by dozens of Holocaust survivors.

"Time is the main enemy," he added. "There will always be a sense of frustration, because many won't be brought before the bar of justice. But that doesn't mean we won't try."

The Canadian Defence Minister, Art Eggleton, whose parliamentary constituents include many Jews, said Mr Sher's appointment was a turning point.

"Today marks the beginning of the end to a problem that has festered upon our conscience for over 50 years," he said.
 





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