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Hungary charges Nazi war crimes suspect

Ninety-eight-year-old Laszlo Csatary to face trial before November for war crimes during World War II.

Last Modified: 18 Jun 2013 09:32
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Csatary denies charges including deporting thousands of Jews during the second World War [EPA]

A 98-year-old top Nazi war crimes suspect, accused of overseeing thousands of Jewish deportations during World War II, has been charged with war crimes in Hungary, prosecutors said.

Laszlo Csatary, who has been under house arrest since last year, is listed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as its most-wanted alleged Nazi war criminal.

The Nazi-hunting organisation says that Csatary was a senior Hungarian police officer in charge of the Kosice ghetto, in what is now Slovakia.

"He is charged with the unlawful execution and torture of people ... committing war crimes partly as a perpetrator, partly as an accomplice," said Bettina Bagoly, a spokeswoman for the Budapest Chief Prosecutor's Office.

She said Csatary's case would go to trial within three months.

The Center says that in his role, Csatary helped organise the deportation to Ukraine and the Nazi death camp Auschwitz of some 15,700 Jews between 1941 and 1944.

He was sentenced to death in absentia in 1948 by a court in what was then Czechoslovakia.

Csatary, whose full name is Laszlo Csizsik-Csatary, sometimes spelt Csizsik-Csatari, was arrested on July 18, 2012 in Budapest on the basis of information provided by the Wiesenthal Center.

Csatary had fled to Canada after World War II but apparently lived undisturbed in Hungary for about 15 years before his arrest.

At a court hearing last July he denied all the accusations.

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