iol.co.za | 30Apr2009 | DPA (German Press Agency)
Nazi war crime suspect unfit to
Vienna - Nazi war crime suspect Milivoj Asner is unfit to stand trial,
an Austrian court spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.
The court had hired a German expert to give a second opinion on a
contentious previous verdict by local psychiatrists that the
96-year-old Asner was suffering from dementia.
Asner, who has lived in Austria for decades, is listed as number three
among the most wanted war criminals by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in
The Croatia-born suspect, who lives in the southern Austrian town of
Klagenfurt, was examined by the Munich forensic psychiatrist Norbert
Earlier tests by Austrian experts had found Asner to suffer from
dementia, a diagnosis which had been challenged by the Wiesenthal
Centre after Asner appeared appeared well and lucid in an interview
with the British daily Sun last summer.
"He is unfit for interrogation or trial," said Norbert Jenny, the
spokesperson of the Klagenfurt court.
Croatia has requested Asner's extradition, as he is suspected of having
helped to deport Jews, Roma and Serbs to World War II concentration
One of the previous examiners, Reinhard Haller, has told German Press
Agency dpa that it is common for demented people to appear lucid about
some aspects of their past while not being able to remember what they
did in the previous hours.
Asner's case echoes that of the Wiesenthal Centre's most wanted Nazi
suspect John Demjanjuk. The 89-year-old alleged Nazi death camp guard
is fighting his extradition from the United States to Germany for
health reasons. - Sapa-dpa