Alleged Nazi Zentai appeals extradition


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – An alleged Nazi war criminal living in Australia has appealed to the Human Rights Commission in a bid to avoid extradition to his native Hungary.

The lawyer for Charles (Karoly) Zentai this week asked commission President Catherine Branson to intervene, the Australian Associated Press reported Tuesday, on the grounds that there was no guarantee that Hungary could ensure a fair trial, especially in the absence of witnesses.

Zentai, 88, of Perth, is facing allegations in Hungary that he helped murder Jewish teenager Peter Balasz in Budapest in November 1944. 

Zentai has vehemently denied the claim since he was first arrested by Australian Federal Police in 2005 after a Simon Wiesenthal Center investigation helped flushed out information on his whereabouts.

The Human Rights Commission cannot supersede the legal processes of Zentai’s extradition but could help Zentai pay for his legal fight against extradition.

Zentai’s appeal is scheduled to begin March 31 in Perth Federal Court.

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