Milivoj Asner, a wanted Nazi war criminal who was deemed unfit to stand trial by Austrian authorities due to his "failing health", has been spotted in one of the Euro 2008 soccer championship gatherings, looking fit as a fiddle for his age, the English Sun reported Monday.
Asner, 95, holds the number 4 spot on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's most wanted Nazi criminals' list. He served in the Croatian police during WWII and is believed to have taken an active part in the persecution and deportation of hundreds of Serbs, Jews and gypsies to death camps.
Croatia formally appealed to Austrian authorities for Asner's extradition in 2005, citing that he was wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity; but Vienna declined, saying he was in poor health. Asner is also on the Interpol's most wanted list – they currently have an international warrant out for his arrest.
Asner has been living in Klagenfurt for several decades now, under an assumed name. The Sun's photographer followed him around town for several hours, as he strolled through local cafés, showing no signs of failing health.
Wiesenthal Center Director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, slammed what he called Austria's "shameful shielding of a suspected war criminal", adding "He is clearly enjoying a life that many hundreds of victims were denied when they were sent off to be murdered… The Sun found him healthy enough to stroll happily round his home town for hours. This is highly significant.
“Austria has long had a reputation as a paradise for war criminals and now they’ve been caught in the act. It is time for them to do what is right and help bring Nazi war criminals to justice. If this man is well enough to walk around town unaided and drink wine in bars, he’s well enough to answer for his past.
“He’s shown absolutely no remorse. It is our intention to bring this to the attention of the Austrian Minister of Justice Maria Berger and call for his immediate extradition,” said Zuroff.