Serbia issues arrest warrant for US Nazi war crimes suspect

[JURIST] The Serbian Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor [official website] announced Friday that it has issued an international warrant for the arrest of alleged Nazi war criminal and naturalized American citizen Peter Egner [JURIST news archive]. Head Serbian prosecutor Vladmir Vukcevic has accused Egner of having been a member of Einsatzgruppe [USHMM backgrounder], an SS paramilitary outfit alleged to be responsible for the deaths of more than 17,000 Serbian Jews and other minorities in Belgrade during the German occupation of Serbia in World War II. Egner admitted to federal officials in 2007 that he had been a member of the squad, which is alleged to have rounded up women and children in specially modified vans to gas them with carbon monoxide. He is currently fighting efforts by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] to revoke his citizenship [JURIST report], which would allow the government to extradite him to Serbia to stand trial on numerous counts of war crimes.

Vukcevic announced in April that he would ask the US for Egner's extradition [JURIST report]. In July 2008, Serbian prosecutors confirmed [JURIST report] that they were gathering evidence for a case against Egner. Earlier that same week, the DOJ filed a complaint [text, PDF] in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website] seeking to revoke Egner's US citizenship. Egner became a US citizen in 1966 but failed to disclose his Nazi service on his citizenship application. The DOJ argued that he was ineligible for citizenship both because of his service and because he concealed that information on his application.



 

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