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WWII War Criminal Hospitalized

October 27, 1999

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) _ Three weeks after he was sentenced to prison for war crimes, the last known surviving World War II concentration camp commandant has been hospitalized with heart problems, court officials said Wednesday.

Dinko Sakic, 78, was diagnosed with ``grave disorder of the coronary rhythm″ and was admitted to the prison hospital three days ago. He has since been sent to a civilian hospital.

Judge Drazen Tripalo, who presided at Sakic’s trial, confirmed Wednesday that he authorized Sakic’s transfer to a clinic in a Zagreb suburb after receiving a medical report on his condition. Doctors have not decided whether Sakic must undergo surgery, the Vecernji list newspaper reported.

Sakic’s trial was initially postponed for ten days in March because he fainted on the eve of the opening session and had to be hospitalized. Doctors testified that he suffered from high blood pressure and was unfit to stand trial. He managed, however, to go through the six-month trial, which ended with a conviction on Oct. 4.

Sakic commanded Croatia’s infamous Jasenovac concentration camp in 1944. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for ordering, committing or authorizing the torture and killings of thousands of Jasenovac prisoners, including Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and anti-fascist Croats.

Jasenovac was the most notorious of the more than 20 camps ran by the Nazi puppet state in Croatia during the war.

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