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Wallenberg Foundation off the hook in Argentina libel case

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation does not have to compensate the grandson of a World War II Argentine diplomat who the group accused of letting 100 Argentine Jews die in Nazi gas chambers.

Argentina’s highest court, the Supreme Court of Justice, in a 5-1 vote this week overturned the judgment against the Wallenberg Foundation. An appeals court had upheld the original ruling.

Juan Carlos Hipolito Irigoyen, a grandson of Luis Hernan Irigoyen, who was stationed at the Argentine Embassy in Berlin during the Nazi regime, had sued the Wallenberg Foundation for damages after it said the plaintiff’s grandfather was “responsible for letting approximately 100 Argentine Jews die in the gas chambers.”

The high court held that “it cannot be deemed to be a gratuitous insult; on the contrary, it is a harsh questioning, of a kind not unusual in historical disputes.”

The foundation had been ordered to pay 50,000 pesos — approximately $6,000 — in compensatory damages.

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