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SWISS GUARD LIABLE FOR COSTS OF PROBE

An ex-bank guard who rescued Holocaust-era documents from the shredder is liable for the costs of his criminal investigation, but the state will write off the amount, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Although Swiss authorities will waive the $485 in investigation costs against Christoph Meili, they said they were unable to meet Meili's demands for an apology.

In a written statement, District Attorney Peter Cosandey said Meili would have to pay the costs because he had precipitated the probe by his actions, which appeared to have violated bank secrecy laws. Authorities dropped the investigation Wednesday.

But Cosandey said at a news conference Thursday that the government would pick up the costs because it would be unable to collect the money from Meili, who has moved to the United States. Cosandey said he would not meet Meili's demands for apologies because he had no choice under Swiss law but to investigate allegations that bank secrecy had been violated.

Meili, 29, who found the documents as night watchman this January, turned them over to a Jewish organization.

President Clinton granted him sanctuary in July, and the Meilis formally received their residency papers Monday.

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