SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — An alleged Nazi war criminal living in Australia was taken into police custody.
Charles (Karoly) Zentai, 88, was arrested Thursday by police in Perth following the expiration of a two-week stay granted by the Federal Court.
The federal government will decide whether or not to uphold the court’s view that Zentai is eligible for extradition to his native Hungary.
Zentai is accused of helping murder an 18-year-old Jewish boy, Peter Balasz, in Budapest in November 1944 for allegedly not wearing the mandatory yellow Star of David.
Zentai has vehemently denied the charges, claiming he left the Hungarian capital the day before Balasz’s death, since an arrest warrant was issued in 2005 after he was flushed out by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Operation Last Chance.
The center’s Jerusalem director, Ephraim Zuroff, has led the campaign against Zentai, whom he accuses of trying to elude justice.
“In a case like this when the person is not young, every day that goes by only brings that person a day closer to eluding justice," Zuroff told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.