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      Nazi Collaborator Hits Nazi Hunter with Libel Charges

      Nazi hunter put on trial in Hungary as former Nazi collaborator remains free.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 10/14/2010, 9:17 PM / Last Update: 10/14/2010, 9:36 PM

      Israel news photo

      Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff is on trial in Hungary over charges filed by an alleged mass murderer. Sandor Kepiro accused Zuroff of libel, saying Zuroff should have spoken of Kepiro's alleged war crimes as opinion, instead of stating them as fact.

      Zuroff has presented documents showing that in 1944, Kepiro and several others were convicted of participating in the Novi Sad massacre, in which an estimated 1,246 people were murdered. The victims were Jews, Serbs, and Roma.

      Kepiro and the other convicts were given harsh sentences, but their sentences were overturned and they were promoted a short time later when the Nazi army invaded Hungary.

      Kepiro was tried by Hungary in absentia in 1946 and convicted a second time. He had already fled to Argentina. He returned to Budapest in 1996.

      Zuroff discussed the case with Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service. He expressed frustration at being put on trial while Kepiro is free. There is overwhelming evidence in Kepiro's case, he said. He dismissed Kepiro's claim that he was not personally involved in the massacre as “a blatant lie.”

      He praised the local Jewish community, which he said has been very supportive. Many local Jews have come to the courtroom.

      Zuroff expressed hope that some good would come out of the case, as it may be the first step in convicting Kepiro. If Zuroff is found innocent of libel, “then [Kepiro's] guilt will be indirectly proven,” he said. Kepiro's involvement in Novi Sad was revealed four years ago, and Hungary has not yet decided whether to put him on trial.