Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Tuesday, 7 March, 2000, 15:52 GMT
Papon denied medical pardon
Maurice Papon
Mr Papon has a history of ill health
The French president, Jacques Chirac, has turned down a request to release the convicted war criminal, Maurice Papon, on grounds of ill health.

Mr Papon, who is 89 years old, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in April 1998 for his role in deporting more than 1,500 French Jews to Nazi death camps during the Second World War.

Mr Papon's trial was interrupted several times because of poor health and he underwent surgery in January to have a pacemaker fitted.

Appeal planned

A statement from the president's office said Mr Papon's lawyer, Jean-Marc Varaut, had sought a medical pardon but "the head of state rejected this request".

Mr Varaut said he would appeal against Mr Chirac's decision at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Papon served the Nazi occupiers
Papon: Convicted of ordering the deportation of Jews
"I'm not going to stop here," said Mr Varaut, arguing that a medical report had concluded that Mr Papon's life "was endangered by further time in jail."

Painful history

Mr Papon began his sentence in October 1999 after briefly fleeing to Switzerland.

His six-month trial forced France to acknowledge how French officials collaborated with the Nazi occupiers during the war.

The pro-Nazi Vichy regime drafted measures that ultimately saw 75,000 Jews deported to death camps.

Only in 1996 did a French leader, Mr Chirac, condemn the Vichy regime for the persecution of Jews.

Mr Papon is the highest-ranking official from that time to be convicted of crimes against humanity.

He was a budget minister under conservative President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Europe Contents

Country profiles
See also:

20 Oct 99 |  Europe
Papon found guilty
13 Oct 99 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Trial and retribution
20 Oct 99 |  Europe
Papon flees France
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories