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Posted Friday, December 11, 1998


WARSAW (AP)--Israel has refused to extradite to Poland a Jewish man accused of atrocities against German prisoners after World War II, the Justice Ministry said Monday.

Solomon Morel, who commanded a camp for German prisoners in southern Poland, allegedly tortured inmates and was considered responsible for at least 1,538 deaths, according to the ministry.

Poland requested Morel's extradition in April on charges of beating and torturing prisoners and creating inhuman conditions at the Swietochlowice camp, which he commanded from February to November 1945.

Israel refused the request last month, saying the statute of limitations had run out on the case. A spokeswoman for the Polish Justice Ministry, Barbara Makosa-Stepkowska, said the charges against Morel failed to meet the definition of genocide under Israeli law. She said Israel's decision ends the case in Poland, which lacks the power to appeal.

Morel could only be arrested if he left Israel, Makosa-Stepkowska said. The investigation into Morel, begun in 1992, was the only one in Poland against a Jew accused of retaliating against the Germans after their defeat. Polish investigators said "extremely bad conditions" at the camp, including hunger, overcrowding and epidemic diseases, led to an unspecified number of deaths.

Morel, who lost his parents and two brothers during the war, moved to Israel in 1994.

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