Estonia 'failing to investigate Nazis'

By Nissan Tzur, May 26, 2011
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The Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip this week rejected a charge by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre that his country has failed to investigate and prosecute Nazi war criminals.

Earlier this month, a Wiesenthal Centre report categorised Estonia, along with Austria, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania and the Ukraine, as countries that have failed to probe and prosecute suspected Nazis "primarily due to the absence of political will to proceed and/or a lack of the requisite resources and/or expertise".

In a meeting this week with European Jewish leaders in Brussels, Mr Ansip rejected the accusation, stating that his country was doing its best. He also used the opportunity to apologise for the fact that some Estonians, under Nazi occupation, took part in the Holocaust. "I'm very sorry about that," he said.

Mr Ansip, citing the case of alleged Nazi Mikhail Gorshkow, the only one in Estonia being investigated, observed: "Unfortunately there are no documents and it's very difficult to investigate."

Efraim Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Centre's Israel director, said: "This case has been going on for over eight years, and there appears to be absolutely no progress." He also criticised other Baltic countries, saying that "not a single Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian Nazi war criminal has been punished since these countries regained their independence".

    Last updated: 2:09pm, May 26 2011