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Protests In Two Serbian Cities Over Acquittal Of Alleged WWII Killer

Sandor Kepiro sits in a courtroom in Budapest
Hundreds of people have taken part in demonstrations in two Serbian cities against the acquittal by a Hungarian court of an alleged World War II criminal who was charged with involvement in operations by pro-Nazi troops that left hundreds of Serbs, Jews and other civilians dead.

The protests against the acquittal of Sandor Kepiro occurred June 24 in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and in the northern city of Novi Sad. It was in Novi Sad in January, 1942, that more than 1,000 civilians were massacred by pro-Nazi forces.

Last week, a court in Budapest ruled that there was not enough evidence to convict the 97-year-old Kepiro, who served as a Hungarian gendarme during the war, of involvement in more than 30 deaths.

Aleksandar Veljic, director of the Association For The Remembrance Of The Holocaust, said at the demonstration in Novi Sad that the acquittal was "shameful" and "in defiance of God's justice."

"We have all relevant evidence that [Kepiro] participated in genocide, commonly known as The Raid, which was a classical slaughter," he said.

After the war, Kepiro fled to Argentina but returned to Hungary in 1996 and was discovered in Budapest in 2006 by investigators for the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Kepiro has been described as one of the last living alleged Holocaust-era criminals.

compiled from agency reports

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