Nazi war criminal seen with soccer fans

UK paper films former Gestapo agent drinking in cafes despite being deemed too sick for extradition.

asner the sun 224 88 (photo credit: Screenshot: The Sun website)
asner the sun 224 88
(photo credit: Screenshot: The Sun website)
The chief Nazi hunter of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center said Monday that the Austrian authorities have been exposed as liars after a top Nazi war criminal deemed unfit by the Austrians to stand trial due to his "failing health" was spotted sipping drinks in an Austrian cafe during one of the Euro 2008 soccer championship gatherings. The case of Milivoj Asner, 95, who served as police chief in Croatia's wartime Nazi puppet regime and is suspected of an active role in the persecution and deportation to concentration camps of hundreds of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies during World War Two resurfaced after the popular British tabloid, The Sun, exposed Asner walking the streets of Austria with his wife, and mingling with throngs of football fans in Klagenfurt for the Euro 2008 matches. Asner is number four on the Wiesenthal Center's list of "most wanted Nazis." Three years ago, Austria refused a Croatian extradition request on the grounds that Asner was "unfit" to stand trial or even be questioned for health reasons. "Austria has long had a reputation as a paradise for war criminals and now they've been caught in the act," said Dr. Ephraim Zuroff, the director of the Israel office of the Wiesenthal Center, and the organization's chief Nazi hunter. Zuroff said that the article "exposed the lie" that the Austrian authorities have been peddling for years, noting that the suspected Nazi war criminal is clearly enjoying a life that many hundreds of victims were denied when they were sent off to be murdered. "If this man is well enough to walk around town unaided and drink wine in bars, he's well enough to answer for his past," Zuroff said. Following the publication of the expose, which included video and photos, The Wiesenthal Center demanded that the Austrian Government immediately extradite the top wanted Nazi without further delay. "The photos, and video clips also made available to this office, make it abundantly clear that Asner is in good health, lucid and able to get around on his own, in contradiction to the finding of an Austrian court which ruled that he cannot be extradited to stand trial in Croatia due to ill health," Zuroff wrote in a Monday letter to Austrian Justice Minister Dr. Maria Berger. "Under these circumstances, there is absolutely no justification for the continued refusal to extradite this wanted Nazi war criminal to the country where he committed his nefarious crimes, so that he can finally be held accountable for the hundreds of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies whom he deported to concentration camps, where the majority were brutally murdered."