Jerusalem- The Simon Wiesenthal Center today blasted the February 19 decision, announced today, of the Budapest Municipal Court not to implement the 1944 jail sentence meted out to Hungarian gendarmerie officer Dr. Sandor Kepiro for his participation in the mass murder of over 1,200 civilians (mostly Jews, the others primarily Serbs and Gypsies) on January 23, 1942 in the Serbian city of Novi Sad [in Hungarian – Ujvidek], then under Hungarian occupation.
In a statement issued in Jerusalem by its chief Nazi-hunter Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who exposed Kepiro’s current whereabouts in Budapest several months ago, the Center expressed its outrage over the mistaken and misguided verdict, which according to Zuroff “grant a totally-undeserved prize to a unrepentant and cynical war criminal who has never been punished for his heinous crimes which have been fully verified by a Hungarian court of law.”
According to Zuroff:
“We firmly believe that this decision is morally unjust and legally flawed since it is based on Kepiro’s return to active service in May 1944, which was not due to his innocence of the original charges on which he was convicted, but rather a decision made possible by the Nazi occupation of Hungary in March 1944. We therefore urge the prosecution to appeal and if unsuccessful, to immediately initiate a full investigation of Kepiro’s criminal activities in 1942 and 1944 in order that he finally be held accountable for his terrible crimes. In that respect, it is important to remember that there is no limitation on prosecution of war crimes and that the passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the perpetrators.”
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