Last-ditch bid to nab Nazi criminals

JERUSALEM - The Simon Wiesenthal Centre plans to launch in four South American countries this week what may be the final phase of its "Operation Last Chance" to nab wanted Nazi war criminals, a spokesman for the centre's Jerusalem office said yesterday.

JERUSALEM - The Simon Wiesenthal Centre plans to launch in four South American countries this week what may be the final phase of its "Operation Last Chance" to nab wanted Nazi war criminals, a spokesman for the centre's Jerusalem office said yesterday.

The project, which began in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in July 2002, offers financial rewards for information leading to the prosecution and punishment of Nazi war criminals still at large.

According to the centre, it has already yielded the names of 488 suspects from 20 countries.

A total of 99 of these names have been submitted to local prosecutors, resulting in three arrest warrants, two extradition requests and dozens of ongoing investigations.

"The problem is not finding these people, but getting them into a courtroom.

"Political will is turning out to be more difficult than finding information and catching the suspects," Ephraim Zuroff, of the centre's Jerusalem office, told the daily Jerusalem Post.

The South American phase of "Operation Last Chance" will be formally announced at a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, tomorrow, in Chile on Friday and Brazil and Uruguay next week. - Sapa-DPA

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