98-year-old charged with Nazi war crimes

London, June 18 (IANS) Prosecutors in Hungary have charged 98-year-old Laszlo Csatary with participation in Nazi war crimes, a media report said Tuesday.

Csatary is under arrest in Hungary, accused of assisting in the murder of 15,700 Jews during World War II. He denies the allegations, BBC reported.

In 1944, Csatary was serving in the Nazi police in Kosice, now in Slovakia.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, based in Los Angeles and known for “Nazi-hunting”, said Csatary oversaw deportation of Jews to the Auschwitz death camp.

The indictment accused Csatary of torturing and murdering Jews.

It said he was the chief of an internment camp for Jews in Kosice, and that he beat them with his bare hands and a dog whip.

“With his actions, Laszlo Csatary… deliberately provided help to the unlawful executions and torture committed against Jews deported to concentration camps… from Kosice,” BBC quoted the prosecutors’ statement as saying.

Csatary says he was merely an intermediary between Hungarian and German officials in Kosice and that he was not involved in war crimes.

Kosice – called Kassa at the time – was the site of the first Jewish ghetto on Hungarian territory, following German occupation of the country in 1944.

In 1948, a Czechoslovakian court had condemned Csatary to death, in absentia, for torturing Jews.

Csatary fled to Canada after the war, where he worked as an art dealer in Montreal and Toronto. He disappeared in 1997 after being stripped of his Canadian citizenship.

He was tracked down in Budapest by reporters from the Sun newspaper in July 2012, with help from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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