Hungary charges Laszlo Csatary, over Nazi war crimes

Laszlo Csatary returns to his home in Budapest, 31 July Laszlo Csatary's home in Budapest was exposed by British newspaper reporters

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Hungarian prosecutors have charged a 98-year-old man, Laszlo Csatary, with participation in Nazi war crimes.

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

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

The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center says Mr Csatary oversaw deportations of Jews to the Auschwitz death camp.

The indictment accuses Mr Csatary of torturing and murdering Jews - partly as a culprit, partly as an accomplice.

It says 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," the prosecutors' statement said.

His trial is expected to start within three months.

Most wanted

Mr Csatary insists that 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 established on Hungarian territory, following the German occupation of the country in 1944.

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

Mr 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 in 2012 named by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as its most wanted suspect.

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

He was put under house arrest.

He has also been charged in Slovakia.

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