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Yugoslav panel says Waldheim document forged

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- An official Yugoslav commission of historians and experts said a document alleging Austrian President Kurt Waldheim was linked to World War II crimes in 1942 is a fake, the national news agency Tanjug said.

A Belgrade prosecutor ordered an investigation of those who allegedly forged the document.

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An international panel of six historian issued a report in Vienna, Austria, Monday concluding Waldheim lied about his knowledge of atrocities committed by his German army in World War II.

Yugoslav journalist Danko Vasovic sold a copy of the document to the West German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, which published it Feb. 1. Belgrade historian Dusan Plenca said he found the document in Yugoslav archives and gave the photocopy to Vasovic.

The photocopy of the document declared a fake by the Yugoslav commission was a cable allegedly sent July 22, 1942, by an official of the Nazi puppet state of Croatia saying Lt. Kurt Waldheim demanded 4,224 Yugoslavs, most of them women and children, be deported to concentration camps.

Despite promising to produce the original document or disclose publicly where it has been kept, Plenca has failed to do so.

The commission, formed by Yugoslav authorities, completed its investigation and announced, 'It is not an authentic document, and there is founded suspicion it is a fake,' Tanjug said.

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'The Belgrade public prosecutor demanded an investigation to determine who is the culprit of the criminal act of this fake.'

Tanjug said there are 'many documents' in Yugoslav archives 'about Kurt Waldheim's affiliation to intelligence services of high commands of (the German) Wermacht and his activity on our territory during the war.'

The documents have been open to historians and other researchers, both foreign and domestic, and 'many experts are continuing to inspect the archives to establish whether any new documents exist.'

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