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Extradition of accused Nazi delayed

 

The extradition case of an accused Nazi war criminal living in Australia again has been delayed.

 

Charles (Karoly) Zentai appeared Tuesday in the Perth Magistrate Court , where his case has been stalled because Zentai has argued that a magistrate’s court does not have the jurisdiction to determine his extradition to Hungary.

 

The case, which began in July 2005, has been adjourned until Aug. 12 while the High Court considers Zentai’s appeal of a Federal Court ruling that rejected his claim on the magistrate court.

 

Zentai is wanted in Budapest by government authorities who accuse him of murdering Peter Balazs, an 18-year-old Jew, in Budapest in 1944 for not wearing the mandatory yellow Star of David.

 

Zentai, now 85, denies the charges. His lawyers have previously cited his ill health in an apparent bid to avoid extradition.

 

Australia has never extradited an alleged Nazi war criminal. In 2001, another alleged Nazi war criminal, Konrads Kalejs, died at the age of 88 while appealing an extradition order to his native Latvia.

 

Zentai was uncovered by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Operation Last Chance, a last-gasp initiative to flush out Nazi war criminals. It prompted Balazs’ brother to come forward with the details of the alleged murder.

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