Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Most Wanted Nazi Criminal May Soon Be Behind Bars

Most Wanted Nazi Criminal May Soon Be Behind Bars (VIDEO)

By Jspace Staff

The world’s most wanted Nazi criminal—allegedly involved in the death of 15,700 Jews—might soon be facing prison.
Authorities in Slovakia want Laszlo Csatary, 97, extradited from Hungary, where he currently lives. The ex-Nazi official was discovered last month in Budapest after efforts by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and England’s Sun newspaper.
At that time, Hungary said it had no intention of dragging up old charges, releasing a statement that said the crimes “took place 68 years ago in an area that now falls under the jurisdiction of another country - which also with regard to the related international conventions raises several investigative and legal problems.”
Csatary was an officer in World War II in Kosice, a town located in what is Slovakia today, and has long been ranked the SWC's most wanted Nazi criminal. Now, Slovakia wants to see the nonagenarian brought to justice, and Hungary has announced it is considering an arrest as well.
“This is one of the last possibilities for us to punish someone for crimes carried out during the Second World War,” said Slovakia’s Justice Minister Tomas Borec. “Csatary’s crimes cannot be justified on the basis that he acted on orders.”
Following the war, Csatary, who maintains his innocence, fled to Canada, where he worked as an art dealer for decades. In 1948, Slovakian courts sentenced him to death in absentia, but were unable to track Csatary down. His identity was discovered in the 90s, and Canada stripped him of his citizenship, prompting his escape to Hungary, where he has resided since.
The SWC has reportedly discovered new evidence against Csatary, which led to Hungary’s renewed willingness to consider pressing charges. As a result, the suspect has been placed on house arrest until Hungarian officials decide their next step.
Efraim Zuroff, director of the SWC, said he was “very upset and very frustrated” by Hungarian authorities’ resistance to go after Csatary.
Slovakia, meanwhile, has said the death sentence would be commuted to life in prison should Hungary hand him over.