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French Ruling May Lead to War Crimes Trial

June 03, 1993| Associated Press

PARIS — A court ruled Wednesday that a former militiaman should stand trial for crimes against humanity, moving France a step closer to confronting the atrocities committed by collaborators during World War II.

Paul Touvier, 78, will be the first Frenchman to stand trial for crimes againt humanity. An appeals court in Versailles ordered him tried for his role in the execution of seven Jewish hostages in 1944 in Lyon.

The ruling comes 14 months after a court acquitted Touvier on six related charges. That ruling provoked widespread outrage and reinforced the belief that French leaders don't want to face up to the country's collaborationist past.

Touvier's lawyer said he would appeal the new ruling on grounds that criminal intent wasn't proven.

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