Alleged Nazi can appeal extradition


An alleged Nazi war criminal living in Australia can appeal his extradition to Hungary in the nation’s highest court.

Charles (Karoly) Zentai of Perth won the right to appeal to the High Court in Canberra against whether the Perth Magistrates’ Court had the authority to order the government to extradite him to his homeland.

Monday’s ruling by three High Court judges will prolong the case against Zentai, who has been fighting murder charges since the allegations were made public in late 2004.

Zentai is accused of killing Peter Balazs, an 18-year-old boy in Budapest, for not wearing the mandatory yellow Star of David in 1944 while Zentai was in the army.

Now 85, Zentai has repeatedly denied the claims, which were brought to light by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem.

In April, Zentai lost his appeal to the Federal Court, which ruled that state magistrates did have the legal power to rule on extraditions.

Australia has never extradited an alleged Nazi war criminal, despite the founding of the federal government’s Special Investigations Unit in 1988. The unit was shut down in 1993 with no convictions and or extraditions.

Konrads Kalejs, a Latvian-born alleged Nazi war criminal living in Melbourne, died in 2001 while his extradition order was being fought in court.

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