German officials defend their hunt for most-wanted Nazi, 94
German officials defend their efforts to catch Aribert Heim, the most-sough Nazi war crimes suspectBaden-Baden -- German officials insisted on Monday they were working to the ultimate to catch Aribert Heim, a 94-year-old doctor ranked as the world's most-wanted Nazi war crimes suspect.
Heim, who performed gruesome, fatal experiments on concentration camp inmates, vanished in 1962 as arrest loomed and is suspected to be still alive with an assumed name in Spain or Latin America.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem rates him first on its list of the 10 most-sought Nazi suspects.
In Baden-Baden, south-western Germany, court spokesman Heinz Heister rejected claims last week by the Wiesenthal chief Efraim Zuroff that a German judge had obstructed the hunt for Heim, and called the Zuroff allegation "defamatory."
Heister told DPA that a German judge denied permission to tap the phones of Heim relatives because it had not satisfied criteria under German criminal investigation laws, and this had been confirmed on appeal.
This setback was being taken out of context, he said.
"We are very committed to this investigation and are working intensively on it," said the spokesman, adding that the German judges had mounted 11 requests since 2005 for foreign legal assistance as they try to track Heim down.
Heim, a member of the SS force that ran the camps, is alleged to have killed hundreds of inmates in Mauthausen, Austria with injections into their hearts. A total of 310,000 euros is being offered as a reward for his arrest.
There have been reported sightings of him over the years. If he is still alive, he would have celebrated his 94th birthday on Saturday.