German court rejects criticism of its role in hunt for Nazi doctor

A German court on Monday rejected criticism from the Simon Wiesenthal Center that its decisions disallowing certain telephone taps have been obstructing the hunt for former SS doctor Aribert Heim. The Jewish human rights organization on Friday said the Baden-Baden state court judge in charge of the case had disallowed German police requests on several occasions for telephone taps of Heim's relatives and an old friend who had been in contact with the fugitive. But Heinz Heister, presiding judge and spokesman for the court, said that in the case of the friend, there had been no appeal of the court's decision, and that the only time a decision disallowing "investigative measures" was challenged, the Baden-Baden court's ruling was upheld. "Investigative measures - even in the case of a person urgently suspected of many counts of murder - are held to certain boundaries by the constitution and the laws," Heister said in a statement.