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Nazi war crimes suspect arrested in Hungary

A man suspected of deporting Jews during World War II was arrested in Hungary on Wednesday and charged with war crimes. Prosecutors believe Laszlo Csatary, 97, was a police officer in what was then the Hungarian city of Kosice, now part of Slovakia.


AFP - The Simon Wiesenthal Centre on Wednesday welcomed the arrest by Hungarian police of Nazi war crimes suspect Laszlo Csatary, 97, who topped the US Nazi-hunting organisation's most wanted list.

"The Simon Wiesenthal Centre welcomes the arrest and indictment today in Budapest of Laszlo Csatary, who heads its Most Wanted list," a statement from the Los Angeles-based group said.

It said Csatary was found to be living in Budapest by the SWC's Israel director Efraim Zuroff as part of "Operation: Last Chance," a campaign which aims to bring Nazi war criminals to justice by offering financial rewards for information leading to their arrest and conviction.

The SWC expressed satisfaction that the Hungarian authorities had taken the initial steps necessary for his prosecution and called for the case to be given priority due to Csatary’s advanced age.

"We urge the Hungarian authorities to complete the rest of the judicial process and bring Csatary to justice as quickly as possible," Zuroff said in the statement.

"This is the debt owed to his many victims who were tortured and sent to be murdered at Auschwitz. The passage of time does not diminish the guilt of the killers and old age should not afford protection to the perpetrators of Holocaust crimes," he said.

Csatary, who was arrested by Hungarian police at dawn on Wednesday, is accused by the Wiesenthal Centre of having helped organise the deportation of some 15,700 Jews to the Auschwitz death camp during World War II.

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