Ex-Nazi Commander Niznansky Dies

BANSKA BYSTRICA, March 16, (WEBNOVINY) – The alleged Slovak war criminal, German citizen Ladislav Niznansky whose extradition Slovakia has been demanding died in late 2011 in Germany. Banska Bystrica County Court is thus to cancel the European arrest warrant it issued for the former commander of the Slovak counter – guerrilla Edelweiss unit. Niznansky was sentenced in Slovakia in 1962 to capital punishment, which was later changed to life imprisonment. The arrest warrant will be scrapped based on the information of the International Police Cooperation Department SIRENE Germany that Niznansky died on December 23 of last year.

Niznansky committed crimes as the commander of the Slovak unit in the special German anti-partisan troop Abwehrgruppe codenamed Edelweiss in late 1944 and early in 1945 in central and western Slovakia. A Czechoslovak court sentenced Niznansky to death in absentia for criminal deeds of military treason and murders as accomplice. He was found guilty of storming on villages Klak and Ostry Grun, Prochot, Lubina, Ksinna and exterminating residents and partisans in these villages and also of assaulting the Anglo-American military mission in Velky Bok near Polomka in the Horehronie region. Nearly 150 civilians including women and children were killed on the bloody Sunday on January 21, 1945 only in the villages of Ostry Grun and Klak during the attack of the Edelweiss unit.

As Slovakia canceled capital punishment in 1990, the senate of the County Court in Banska Bystrica changed the sentence to life imprisonment in 2006. In November 2011 the Banska Bystrica County Court issued a European arrest warrant for Niznansky.

A Munich court however has acquitted Ladislav Niznansky accused of Nazi war crimes. Ruling that there was insufficient evidence to convict Niznansky of the crimes of which he was accused at the end of the 15-month trial, the court released him and ordered that the former Slovak army captain be paid compensation for time spent in custody. The defense attorney said that the prosecution had built its entire case on the 1962 trial in Czechoslovakia and that was a communist show trial. According to him the investigators were all members of the state security apparatus.


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