Budapest-The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed today’s decision by the District Court of Pest [Budapest] to reject a libel suit launched by convicted but unpunished Hungarian Nazi war criminal Dr. Sandor Kepiro against its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel Director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, in the wake of Kepiro’s failure to appear at a hearing scheduled for this morning. In a statement issued today by Zuroff, the Center expressed its satisfaction that this “diversionary tactic” by Kepiro and his legal team had been disposed of, but emphasized that the key issue-Kepiro’s role in helping to organize and carry the mass murder of at least 1,250 innocent residents of the Serbian city of Novi Sad on January 23, 1942-still remained to be dealt with.
According to Zuroff:
“While I am naturally relieved that this legal harassment by Kepiro has been rejected by the court, the real issue of Kepiro’s guilt has still not been addressed properly by the Hungarian prosecutors who have been investigating his case for over three and a half years. Given the fact that Kepiro was convicted by a Hungarian court in 1944 in relation to the massacre in Novi Sad and the extremely strong evidence available regarding his role in the arrests and roundups of numerous residents of the city who were murdered by the Hungarian forces on January 23, 1942, Kepiro should have been brought to justice long ago. In view of the fact that Kepiro was already 92 years old when I initially submitted the information regarding his residence in Budapest to the prosecutors on August 1, 2006, it is particularly unfortunate that his case was not expedited by the Hungarian authorities. We therefore urge the prosecutors in Budapest to do everything possible to finally bring this Holocaust perpetrator to justice.”