2010-02-01 10:54 PM etaiwannews.com
Croatia awards Nazi hunter Ephraim Zuroff

Croatia's outgoing president has decorated a prominent Nazi hunter, thanking him for helping Croatia to face the crimes it committed during World War II.
Stipe Mesic awarded Ephraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday with the Order of the King Trpimir.

Zuroff has ceaselessly pressed Croatia to prosecute those responsible for crimes in the then Nazi puppet state. One of those was eventually sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1998.

Zuroff irritated late President Franjo Tudjman, whose nationalism harked back to World War II. Zuroff said that "hardly anyone could have imagined" him getting a medal 15 years ago.

Mesic, who leaves the post later this month, is credited with moving Croatia closer to the West.