Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Former Waffen-SS, 95, asks Canadian Supreme Court to Rule on his WWII Service



Helmut Oberlander faces long odds asking the Supreme Court of Canada to restore his Canadian citizenship. His request is no surprise, however, in a legal odyssey that's gone before 32 judges over 24 years.
The federal government revoked the 95-year-old's citizenship in 2017 over his service with the Waffen-SS in the Second World War, and odds are remote that the top court will agree to hear an appeal from the retired Waterloo developer.
The Supreme Court refuses to get involved 87 per cent of the time it is asked. It hears only cases it deems significant and important to the public.
In 2016, the top court refused to hear a government appeal in the long-running Oberlander case.
The court doesn't give reasons for not hearing appeals.
The Supreme Court got involved in the Oberlander case in 1997, when it chose not to halt the prosecution after concerns were raised about judicial independence.
Oberlander served as a translator in the former Soviet Union between 1941 and 1943.
The Ukraine-born man, granted German citizenship by the National Socialist, later lied about his wartime service to gain entry to Canada, a court ruled.
His conduct in Canada has been exemplary. No evidence has been presented in court that he personally committed atrocities. His health is failing, his lawyers say.
The government is prosecuting Oberlander on the argument that he contributed indirectly to war crimes committed by his unit.

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