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Former Immigration Director Authorized Return Of Nazi Collaborator
The Spanish language daily, La Nación, reports that former immigration director, Marco Badilla, authorized the return of Harry Mannil Laul to Costa Rica, who according to the Simon Weisenthal Center, Mannil is a Nazi collaborator.

In 2001, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called upon the Estonian government to launch a full-scale investigation into the World War II activities of Venezuelan industrialist Harry Mannil who served in the Estonian Political Police in Tallinn. He is suspected of actively participating in the persecution and murder of at least one hundred civilians, primarily Jews and Communists.

Badilla alleges to have placed an order against the entry of Mannil to Costa Rica in February 2003 as a "preventive" measure.

On February 5, 2003, the Simon Wiesenthal Center praised the swift expulsion from Costa Rica of Mannil, his escape haven for the previous five decades.

However, La Nación reports that they have located Mannil in a farm in San Rafael, Heredia.

The current immigration director, Mario Zamora, confirmed that they are investigating the legality fo the contradicting resolutions referring to Mannil that were dictated by Badilla.

The first resolution dated February 4, 2003, Badilla says that of that date Mannil's entrance to Costa Rica will be refused because "his presence could compromise national security, public order or way of life".

The resolution was personally handed by Badilla to Mannil when he was on board an airplane on his way out of Costa Rica. Following, Badilla held a press conference explaining the resolution and the basis for his action.

Notwithstanding, eight months later, Badilla, signed a second resolution which authorized Mannil the ability to freely return to Costa Rica. The decision was never made public to the press.

The second resolution was signed on November 7, 2003, at 9:30am, and on the same day Mannil returned to Costa Rica.

Badilla indicated in his second resolution that, according to documents held by Mannil, the Government of Estonia considered insufficient evidence to bring him to trial for his acts during World War II.

Although both Washington and Jerusalem maintained their position against Mannil, Badilla alleges that though it not made clear, his first resolution banning Mannil from Costa Rica, was only a "preventive" measure.

The former immigration director justified his allowing the return of Mannil based on the documents Mannil's lawyer presented and his age.

Although Mannil alleges to be innocent of all charges against him and that the criminal investigation in Estonia found that the accusations against him were false, he has, however, admitted to working with the state security police during the Nazi occupation of Estonia.

The immigration record of Harry Mannil goes back to the 1970's when he first visited Costa Rica and since November7, 2003, he has entered the country on 12 occasions.

Mannil assures that he owns no property in Costa Rica and the farm he visits when in Costa Rica belong to a company that his children are stockholders.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with a membership of over 400,000 families in the United States. It preserves the memory of the Holocaust through community programs, outreach and social action. The Center is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, and the OSCE.



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