Australian court reserves Nazi extradition decision


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – The full bench of Australia’s Federal Court reserved its decision on whether to extradite an alleged Nazi war criminal to Hungary.

Charles (Karoly) Zentai, 87, appeared Tuesday in Federal Court in Perth, where he is appealing an earlier judgment that approved an extradition order for him to face murder charges in his native Hungary. Australia has never extradited an alleged Nazi war criminal.

Zentai denies allegations he took part in the murder of an 18-year-old Jew, Peter Balazs, in Budapest in 1944 for allegedly not wearing the mandatory yellow Star of David. Zentai, who arrived in Australia in 1950, reportedly has spent $110,000 over the last four and a half years fighting the case.

The judges said they would try to deliver their verdict shortly. If Zentai loses this appeal, the federal government will make the final decision on his surrender to Hungary. Meanwhile, Zentai’s bail conditions remain.

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