Alleged Nazi wins legal victory



An alleged Nazi war criminal cannot be extradited until Australia’s highest court hears his case.

A Perth magistrate on Tuesday said he would not move on the case of  Charles Zentai until it was heard by the High Court of Australia in Canberra. 

Zentai, an Australian citizen, has denied charges that he took part in the murder of Peter Balazs, an 18-year-old Jewish man who was killed in Budapest in 1944 for not wearing the mandatory yellow Star of David.

Magistrate Steven Heath told the court in Western Australia, where Zentai now lives, that he would wait until February before setting the date for an extradition hearing.

Zentai, now 85, last month won the right to appeal to the High Court, where he will argue that the lower court does not have the jurisdiction to hear extradition proceedings.Two appeals have been rejected by the Federal Court.

Zentai was first arrested by Federal Police in July 2005, but the case has been stalled in the judicial system for most of the last two years as Zentai fought extradition to Hungary at that government’s request.

Australia has never extradited an alleged Nazi war criminal.

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