Zagreb – The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff met here today with Croatian President Stjepan Mesic and Attorney-General Mladen Bajic in order to press for the prosecution of Ustasha Nazi war criminal Milivoj Ašner, whom the Center exposed in June 2004 when it launched its “Operation: Last Chance” project in Croatia. In separate meetings held in Zagreb, Zuroff stressed the importance of speedy action to ensure that the former police chief of the city of Pozega, who escaped to Austria following his exposure by the Wiesenthal Center and is currently living in Klagenfurt, will not be able to escape justice. He also informed the Croatian leaders of the existence of extensive and highly incriminating new evidence against Ivo Rojnica who was the leading Ustasha official in the city of Dubrovnik and is suspected of playing an active role in the persecution and murder of numerous civilians.
In the course of their meeting, President Mesic expressed unqualified support for the prosecution of Croatian Nazi war criminals and stressed several times that the fact that they are elderly in no way diminishes the necessity of bringing them to justice. He also shared the concern expressed by Dr. Zuroff that more than a year had passed since the Center exposed Ašner, and yet he still had not been indicted by the Croatian judicial authorities. This concern was the subject of the meeting between Dr. Zuroff and Attorney-General Bajic, who reviewed the steps already taken by the Croatian prosecutors and expressed his confidence that Ašner would be charged in early fall 2005.
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