Nazi hunters look to Hungary for top war-crimes suspect | News | DW | 16.07.2012
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Nazi hunters look to Hungary for top war-crimes suspect

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has passed on information to Hungarian prosecutors about a Holocaust-era war crimes suspect that it claims is living in Budapest.

The center's Jerusalem office said on Sunday that it had provided "new evidence" to Hungarian officials about Laszlo Csatary, who currently tops its most-wanted list.

It is alleged that 97-year-old Csatary, as police chief in the Slovakian city of Kosice during the war, was complicit in the deaths of some 15,700 Jews.

The center said that its director, Efraim Zuroff, "last week submitted new evidence to the prosecutor in Budapest regarding crimes committed during World War II by its Number One Most Wanted Suspect Laszlo Csatary."

The online edition of British newspaper The Sun reported on Sunday that it had found, identified and photographed Csatary living in the Hungarian capital. The center said that it had supplied the newspaper with information about Csatary in September last year.

Zuroff claimed Csatary played a "key role" in the 1941 deportation of 300 Jews to Ukraine, "where almost all were murdered."

"This new evidence strengthens the already very strong case against Csatary and reinforces our insistence that he be held accountable for his crimes," said Zuroff in the statement, adding that its suspect's advanced years should not protect him.

"The passage of time in no way diminishes his guilt and old age should not afford protection for Holocaust perpetrators."

Prosecutors in Hungary have said they are gathering information about the case.

"An investigation is under way," said Budapest's assistant prosecutor general, Jeno Varga. "The prosecutor's office will study the information received."

In 1948, a Czech court condemned Csatary to death in absentia. He had fled to Canada, where he worked under a false identity as an art dealer, before being unmasked in 1995.

rc /av (AFP, AP)