World Report

PARIS (JTA) — The war-crimes trial of Maurice Papon was postponed this week after his wife died. The jury is now expected to deliver its verdict Wednesday.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs expressed concern that the jury may pity Papon and give him a more lenient verdict.

Papon is being tried on accusations that he ordered the arrest of 1,560 Jews, 223 of them children, for deportation to death camps between 1942 and 1944.

Papon denies the charges, saying he was a powerless underling who spent the war saving Jewish lives.

Canadian city snubs neo-Nazis' Web aide

TORONTO (JTA) — A Canadian businessman whose company provides Internet sites to neo-Nazis is claiming that his right to free speech is being violated.

Bernard Klatt made the charge after the town council of Oliver, British Columbia, withdrew permission for him and his supporters to meet at the local town hall.

The council cited the potential for violence.

Adolf Hitler is portrayed as a hero on one of the sites hosted by Klatt's Fairview Technology Center.

Klatt made headlines recently after a dozen skinheads in Britain and France were charged with uttering threats and using material posted on Internet sites rented from Fairview.

Sol Littman, director of the Canadian arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called Oliver the "hate capital of Canada" when he first heard about the proposed meeting. He later congratulated town officials for the cancellation.

Former newspaper columnist Doug Collins, a Holocaust denier, held an impromptu news conference with Klatt outside Oliver's town hall after the meeting of their Canadian Association for Free Expression was canceled.

They and a handful of their supporters were outnumbered by more than 100 protesters, who demonstrated peacefully nearby.

Russia sentences 2 for spying for Israel

MOSCOW (JTA) — Russia has sentenced two former Russian military intelligence officers on charges they spied for Israel.

The two were found guilty of selling 200 classified aerial photographs of the Middle East taken by Russian satellites to an Israeli diplomat stationed in Moscow. The sentences were considered relatively mild by legal observers: three years in prison for Lt. Col. Vladimir Tkachenko and a two-year suspended sentence for Lt. Col. Gennady Sporyshev.

The charges brought against a third officer were dismissed.

The man, identified as Col. Alexander Volkov, was suspected of transferring satellite photographs of Iraqi territory to Israel. During the investigation, the man allegedly said that he was only fulfilling his duty.

According to the Kommersant Daily newspaper, Israel's Mossad intelligence agency paid as much as $345,000 for the satellite photos of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Israel.

Russian security sources said this was the first time that Russian security officials were convicted of spying for Israel.

Ukraine mayor cites rivals' anti-Semitism

MOSCOW (JTA) — The Jewish mayor of a Ukrainian city is claiming that his political rivals are playing the Jewish card.

In a letter to Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Dmitri Dvorkis, the mayor of the central Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa, urged the president to intervene to stop anti-Semitism being used against him and other Jewish candidates in races for Sunday's scheduled elections.

Recently, leaflets were distributed in Vinnitsa calling on voters not to allow "Judeo-Masons" to come to power. According to Dvorkis, the leaflets were distributed by the People's Democratic Party of Ukraine.

The country's prime minister, Valery Pustovoitenko, heads the party's slate in the upcoming elections to Ukraine's 450-seat Parliament.

Dvorkis was elected the mayor of Vinnitsa, a city of 300,000, in 1992. He is one of several Jews holding mayoral posts in the country.

Local observers say anti-Semitic rhetoric is being used by politicians of different views to defeat Jewish political rivals.

The former Soviet republic, which has a population of 52 million, is home to 600,000 Jews.