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Croat war crimes suspect admits deporting Jews during WWII

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    13:17 20/06/2008 haaretz.com Croat war crimes suspect admits deporting Jews during WWII By Reuters A Croatian World War Two war crimes suspect said in a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 20, 2008
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      13:17 20/06/2008 haaretz.com
      Croat war crimes suspect admits deporting Jews during WWII
      By Reuters


      A Croatian World War Two war crimes suspect said in a television
      interview he had ordered deportations of Jews and Serbs during World
      War Two, but only to their homelands and not to death camps in Croatia.

      "Nothing ever happened to whoever was a loyal citizen of the Croatian
      state. For others, my theory was: You are not a Croat, you hate
      Croatia, okay, then please go back to you homeland," 95-year old
      Milivoj Asner told Croatian state television in an interview at his
      home in Klagenfurt, Austria.

      Asner went to Austria when a Nazi-tracking group found him living in
      Croatia in 2005. He was filmed recently mingling with European
      championship soccer fans in Klagenfurt.

      Zagreb has sought Asner's handover for trial on suspicion of
      orchestrating persecution of Serb, Jewish and Roma people under
      Croatia's pro-Nazi Ustasha regime during World War Two, when thousands
      of non-Croats perished in local death camps.

      Austria rejected the request, saying Asner's physical and mental
      health was fragile.

      The Croatian television reporter who conducted the interview said
      Asner appeared senile and was only temporarily lucid.

      But Asner said he was ready to appear before the Croatian court.

      "I'm deeply convinced that the judges, if they are honest people,
      would acquit me as I'm a Croat," Asner said in the interview broadcast
      on Thursday evening.

      The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center considers Asner the
      fourth most wanted Nazi at large and says he was a senior Ustasha
      security official during the war.

      The Jerusalem-based organisation said its director Ephraim Zuroff had
      written to Austrian Justice Minister Maria Berger renewing a request
      for Asner's extradition to his homeland.

      Jewish groups have long accused Austria, which was annexed by Hitler
      in 1938 and supplied his Third Reich with many top officials, of a
      lack of political will to punish Nazi criminals.

      Vienna has cited problems unearthing evidence compounded by the
      passage of time and ill health of suspects.

      haaretz.com
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