Footage Information

ABCNEWS VideoSource
Australia War Crime - Australia reported to be "haven" for war criminals
TAPE: EF01/0433 IN_TIME: 22:39:16 DURATION: 1:46 SOURCES: APTN/BBC RESTRICTIONS: No re-use/re-sale of film/video/tv clips without clearance DATELINE: 28 May 2001/Recent SHOTLIST: BBC 1. War crimes suspect Kalesj being pushed in wheelchair in street B/W FILE - 1941 2. Various of Nazis entering Baltic towns 3. Various of synagogue destruction BBC 4. SOUNDBITE: Mark Aarons, War Crimes Researcher: "If you are looking for a place where you can settle and forget the crimes that you've committed, Australia is number one destination. I've got no doubt about it." 5. Second suspected war criminal 6. Pan down document 7. SOUNDBITE Mark Aarons, War crimes researcher: "Nothing has changed a half a century later. War criminals from a variety of theatres of much more modern wars have been able to find a safe haven and sanctuary here in Australia from the Khamer Rouge in the 1970s to the Bosnian and Croatian wars of the 1990s." 8. Low tracking shot through evidence rooms of war crimes research institution in Australia 9. Various of researchers examining documents STORYLINE: Alleged Nazi war criminal Konrad Kalejs is fighting to stay in Australia. The frail 87-year-old, who is suffering from cancer, blindness and dementia, is expected to learn on Tuesday whether he is to be extradited to Latvia to face charges of genocide and war crimes. Latvia claims Kalejs was an Arajs Commando officer in charge of border guards at a labour camp at Salaspils, near the capital of Riga. It is alleged he ordered guards to shoot escaping prisoners and that inmates were starved and kept in inhumane conditions. Some 80-thousand Latvian Jews were killed during the Nazi occupation. The Kalejs case has opened up deep wounds in Australian society as it's becoming clear that the country has been acting as a sanctuary for war criminals. Antanas Gudelis is another alleged Nazi war criminal who is said to have fled to Australia following the war. He reportedly commanded a pro-Nazi police unit in Lithuania at a time when thousands of Jews were executed. Tens of thousands of refugees arrived from Europe. It was relatively easy to slip through undetected and obtain Australian citizenship. A status which has so far proved an effective protection against extradition. Despite amassing a mountain of documents, Australia's own war crimes investigation unit was disbanded more than five years ago, having failed to gain a single conviction. But there is now a new appetite to tackle the issue. Time is clearly running out to bring Nazi war criminals to account, but there is an increasing feeling in the country that justice should be seen to be done to those guilty of such crimes in order to break the cycle.