Elie Wiesel back in SF amid tight security

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Nobel prize-winning author Elie Wiesel, speaking in San Francisco amid tight security today for the first time since he was assaulted by a Holocaust denier, declared that such people are "not mentally ill but morally ill.''

The 78-year-old professor and Holocaust survivor, who is in town to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Koret Foundation, said he remained "surprised and shocked that there are so many people who deny the Holocaust.''

Surrounded by nearly a dozen police officers and private security guards, Wiesel spoke at a press conference whose location was kept secret until reporters' identities could be verified.

Wiesel was assaulted Feb. 1 in an elevator at the Argent Hotel, allegedly by Eric Hunt of New Jersey. Hunt, 22, who allegedly told Wiesel he wanted to interview him and then grabbed Wiesel and tried to drag him into a guest room at the hotel, was arrested three weeks later after bragging about the assault on a Web site.

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