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France court overturns conviction of railway for WWII deportations

[JURIST] A French appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of French state railway company SNCF [corporate website] for the deportation of two Jewish men during World War II. An administrative court in Toulouse convicted [judgment, in French; JURIST report] SNCF last June. The lawsuit was brought by the family of European Parliament MEP Alain Lipietz [personal website], whose father and uncle were taken by a train to the Drancy transit camp [JVL backgrounder] in Paris in May 1944. After SNCF was ordered to pay $83,000 dollars in compensation, it appealed to the administrative court of appeal in Bordeaux, which held the issue to be outside the jurisdiction of the original administrative court. The Lipietz family plans to take the case to the State Council in Paris, France's highest administrative court.

SNCF announced [JURIST report] in October that since June 2006 it has received about 1,200 claims [JURIST report] related to its role in helping the Nazis [JURIST news archive] transport people, mostly Jews, to concentration and death camps during Germany's occupation of France in World War II. AFP has more.

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