BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — A retired Argentine army sergeant surrendered to a judge Monday after saying he had information about who was responsible for bombing the Jewish community headquarters here on July 18, 1994.
Sgt. Pedro Eugenio Fonseca turned himself in to federal Judge Luis Miguel Vila in the southern Patagonian city of Comodoro Rivadavia.
Vila ordered him flown to Buenos Aires to be interrogated by Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who is spearheading the investigation of the terrorist attack that left 87 dead and at least 300 wounded.
Galeano, who ordered complete secrecy, refused to disclose what information Fonseca had volunteered.
The former sergeant has been placed under protective police custody in an undisclosed location in Buenos Aires, a court official said.
The official said Fonseca "is not under arrest" and no charges have been brought against him.
Fonseca reportedly offered to trade information for protection because he feared for his life and for his family's security.
According to unconfirmed reports, Fonseca admitted to driving a support vehicle the day of the bombing and said he knows who gave terrorists the Renault van that was used in the car bombing.
Fonseca was described by sources as a member of the "Carapintada," or painted-face band, a militant, right-wing group that rebelled several times against former President Raul Alfonsin's government in the mid-1980s.
Argentine officials tried to curb expectations about the value of Fonseca's information. State Intelligence Director Hugo Anzorreguy said there is "not enough evidence to say that Fonseca tells the truth."
Ex-Nazi's extradition upheld by Argentina
BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Jewish groups have applauded the Argentine Supreme Court's ruling to extradite former SS Capt. Erich Priebke to Italy.
The 6-3 ruling, which came Nov. 2, ends 18 months of legal action. The ruling also is being seen as a successful effort by Argentina to counter its image as a safe haven for Nazi criminals.
Priebke, 82, will now answer to charges in Italy on taking part in the 1944 slaughter of 335 civilians, including 75 Jews, at the Ardeatine Caves near Rome.
Priebke is also suspected of participating in the torture of political prisoners as well as the deportation of thousands of Jews to Auschwitz.
The accused war criminal may be sent to Rome within weeks. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which helped an ABC News crew to locate Priebke in Argentina, commended the extradition order.
The group said that Priebke's case "could serve as a graphic history lesson to younger Europeans attracted to Nazi and fascist movements."
Canada issues stamp observing Holocaust
TORONTO (JTA) — Canadians will be able to reach outside their borders to commemorate the Holocaust when a new stamp is issued this week.
The 45-cent stamp, designed by the Toronto firm Q30 Designs, is inscribed in English and French "The Holocaust 1933-1945."
The stamp shows a collage of artifacts from the collection of the Holocaust Education and Memorial Center here, including a yellow Star of David inscribed "Jude," a passport stamped "J" and the striped uniform of a concentration camp inmate.
The first date of issue marks the 57th anniversary of Kristallnacht, on Nov. 9-10, 1938, when Jewish lives and property were destroyed.
Jewish camp for kids reopens in Croatia
PRAGUE (JTA) — A Jewish summer camp at Pirovac, on the Adriatic coast of Croatia, has reopened after it was forced to close down four years ago because of the war in Bosnia.
More than 60 young Jews from across Croatia gathered recently for a three-day program of learning and fun sponsored by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Israeli Habonim Dror movement.
"It's a new beginning," said Yechiel Bar Chaim, the JDC country director for the nations of the former Yugoslavia as well as for the Czech Republic. "After all the pain and separation imposed by the war, it is indeed a new beginning."
About 50 young Jews from Zagreb, four from Split, six from Osijek and four from Rijeka took part in the weekend session, which included workshops, lectures, Shabbat services and social events, Bar Chaim said.