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97 yr old charged with Nazi era war crimes - Hungary

A 97-year-old man was taken into custody in Hungary on Wednesday, on suspicion of committing war crimes during the Holocaust.

The suspect, Laszlo Csatary, was questioned and charged with 'unlawful torture of human beings' - a war crime for which the maximum sentence is life in prison.

The prosecutors' statement said that in May 1944, as chief of an internment camp at Kosice (now part of Slovakia), Csatary "regularly" used a dog whip against the Jewish detainees "without any special reasons and irrespective of the assaulted people's sex, age or health condition."

He is also accused of being responsible for the deportation of over 12000 Jews to the Auschwitz death camp.

According to Budapest’s acting chief prosecutor Tibor Ibolya, Csatary said of his Holocaust-era activities that he had been following orders and carrying out his duty.

Jewish activists at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre had named Csatary as top of a list of their most-wanted ‘Nazi war criminals’. The organisation campaigns to bring all remaining Nazi war criminals to justice.

Efraim Zuroff, director of the Centre’s Jerusalem office told the Associated Press:

"When you look at a person like this, you shouldn't see an old frail person, but think of a man who at the height of his physical powers devoted all his energy to murdering or persecuting and murdering innocent men, women and children."

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