GUATEMALA CITY (May. 16)
A man arrested here on suspicion he might be the long-sought Hitler deputy, Martin Bormann, told a television audience here last night that he had lived in the United States for 20 years, seven of them in New York City.
The suspect, who identified himself to Guatemalan authorities as Juan Falerno Martinez and as an intinerant carpenter, changed his original statement to police in several details, in his television appearance. He said that in New York City, he lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and in the Canal-Division Street section. He added he recalled a Jewish restaurant called “The Garden.”
The Israeli Embassy here emphatically denied either that there were any Israeli commandoes involved in the suspect’s seizure or any other Israeli involvements in the case. The Embassy, commenting on press reports of Israeli participation, said “Israel has no interest in Martin Bormann. Only Germany is interested in him, since he had been convicted and condemned by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.”
(In Frankfurt, State Prosecutor Joachim Richter said today that fingerprints of the suspect, sent to West Germany by Guatemalan police, were not identical with the “genuine fingerprints” of Bormann possessed by Frankfurt authorities.)
Police Chief Eduardo Garcia Gomez, who announced the suspect’s arrest on Friday, said police checks were being extended to the United States, as well as to West Germany and Uruguay, where the suspect said he also had worked as a wandering carpenter. There have been repeated reports of sightings of Bormann in South America since the end of World War II but the arrest in Guatemala was the first seizure of a suspect.