Wanted Nazi is 'ready to face court'

Nazi fugitive tells The Sun he "has a clear conscience" and that he is completely innocent.

asner sun 224.88 (photo credit: )
asner sun 224.88
(photo credit: )
After Monday's report in The Sun which exposed Nazi war criminal Milivoj Asner mingling with Euro 2008 football fans in Austria, the British daily interviewed the 95-year-old man at his Austrian home. The history books describe how Pozega's entire Jewish community was wiped out in World War II, sent to the Jasenovac concentration camp where 700,000 were exterminated. Asner is suspected to have overseen the deportation from Croatia of hundreds of Jews, Serbs and gypsies to concentration camps. According to The Sun, Asner denied any Jews were deported to death camps from his home town. Laughing again, he said: "I don't know of anyone deported from Pozega. Nobody was murdered. I never heard of one single family murdered in Pozega." Despite Austrian officials ruling out extradition on health grounds, Asner said he was well enough to face trial. He said: "I have a clear conscience, I can appear in front of any court." "I would welcome the chance to answer these accusations in a Croatian court. I don't have anything to do with it. I did not have enough responsibility to order deportation." According to The Sun, Austrian officials revealed they may order a new medical examination. On Monday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said that Austrian authorities were "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. 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."