Zentai appeal begins

March 28, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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The High Court in Canberra was the scene for the beginning today of the final stage in the battle to extradite 90-yr-old Perth man Charles Zentai wanted by Hungarian authorities for questioning about the death of an 18-yr-old Jewish youth in Budapest in 1944.

Charles Zentai

Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare is appealing to the High Court following a ruling by the Federal Court that Zentai could not be extradited as the alleged offence was a war crime  which did not exist in Hungarian law at the time.

Justice William Gummow responded to the minister’s counsel Stephen Lloyd SC who said that the Government had determined that Zentai’s alleged offence would have constituted murder recognised by Hungarian law in 1944.

Justice William Gummow questioned the situation regarding double criminality stating that if the offence was committed whilst Zentai was serving in the army it should have been punishable by a military tribunal.