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Alleged Nazi loses extradition battle

An alleged Nazi war criminal lost his extradition appeal in the High Court of Australia.

Lawyers for Charles (Karoly) Zentai and two others had argued in the nation’s top court that state magistrates were not empowered to order their extradition. But the High Court judges on Wednesday ruled 6 to 1 against the appeal.

“Commonwealth laws conferring jurisdiction on state magistrates in relation to extradition applications were valid,” the court said in a statement.

Zentai, 85, of Perth is wanted in his native Hungary on charges that he murdered an 18-year-old Jewish boy, Peter Balazs, in Budapest in 1944 because he was not wearing the mandatory yellow Star of David.
Zentai has denied the charges since he was arrested by Australian Federal Police in 2005.

Zentai’s case returns Aug. 12 to the Perth Magistrate’s Court, where the application for his extradition will be decided. He can be saved from extradition only if Australia’s home affairs minister, Bob Debus, overrules the court’s decision. Zentai’s lawyers have argued that he suffers ill health.

His case went to the High Court after his appeal was rejected in the Federal Court.

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