Wiesenthal Center Condemns Closing of Investigation Against Alleged Estonian Nazi

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel yesterday roundly condemned the decision by Estonian state prosecutors to close the investigation against Harry Mannil, who is suspected of World War II war crimes.

Mannil, 84, a millionaire businessman who now lives in Caracas, Venezuela, is suspected of involvement in the massacre of at least 100 Jews during the Nazi occupation of Estonia. Mannil has denied the accusations.

Legal procedures against Mannil opened in 1992, following the Wiesenthal Center's suspicions against him.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the center's director, said that the United States has banned Mannil from entering it on the basis of the information the center published.

Zuroff said that since Estonia gained independence 15 years ago, it has not convicted a single person of Estonian origin for war crimes during World War II. He said the Mannil affair proves that the Estonian government lacks the political courage required to deal with Estonian war criminals and the crimes they committed during the war.