Paris, Jan. 26 – Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon," was yesterday arrested in La Paz, Bolivia, where he is being held while the Bolivian Supreme Court is studying the West German request for his extradition. Barbie is wanted for war crimes and for his participation in the deportation of thousands of Jews of Lyon, where he served during the Nazi occupation of France as chief of gestapo.
The French press quotes the Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mario Velarde, as saying "we shall go ahead with his extradition." The minister also said that Barbie, who in Bolivia uses the name of Klaus Altmann, was arrested for a local criminal offense. He is charged with fraudulently obtaining $10,000 from a state-owned company, Comibol, in 1975.
Barbie was sentenced to death after the war by a French military court which judged him in absentia. He was charged at the time with the deportation of Lyon's Jews and with the murder of French resistance leader Jean Moulin. Bolivia rejected in 1974 a French extradition request after the Bolivian Supreme Court ruled that the two countries have no valid extradition agreement. France intends to ask West Germany for his extradition should Bolivia grant the German request.