The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, met today in Jerusalem with Croatian President Stjepan Mesic who is visiting Israel to participate in the opening of the new Yad Vashem historical museum, to discuss the cases of suspected Ustasha Nazi war criminals Milivoj Asner and Ivo Rojnica, both currently under criminal investigation in Zagreb.
Asner, the police chief of Slavonska Požega, who played an active role in the persecution of hundreds of Jews, Serbs, and Gypsies and their deportation to Ustasha concentration camps where they were murdered, was discovered this past summer in the framework of “Operation: Last Chance.” The case of Ivo Rojnica, the Ustasha governor of Dubrovnik, which was also submitted by the Wiesenthal Center, is still under investigation several years after its submission.
President Mesic stated unequivocally that the prosecution of these cases is of the utmost importance, especially in view of the age of the defendants. He also noted their importance in terms of educating the public about the horrors of the Holocaust, and promised Dr. Zuroff to update him as soon as possible regarding the imminent decision of the Croatian Attorney-General on the indictment of Asner, which would then be followed by a request for his extradition from Austria. (Following his exposure by the Wiesenthal Center on June 30, 2004. Asner fled to Klagenfurt, Austria, where he currently resides.)
Zuroff thanked President Mesic’ for his unflinching support for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals and congratulated him on his recent reelection.
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