Zentai: Federal Court judges reserve extradition decision

August 25, 2009 by Henry Benjamin
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Perth alleged Nazi war criminal Charles Zentai must continue his wait as his bail was extended to allow three Federal Court judges to consider his fate.The 87-yr-old is wanted by Hungarian authorities to face charges in relation to the murder of an 18-yr-old Jew, Peter Balazs, in Budapest in 1944. Balazs, believed to have been known to Zentai, was spotted in a Budapest tram not wearing the mandatory yellow “Jude” badge. Balazs was living at the time in Budapest under Swiss protection. J-Wire has a copy of his Swiss pass.

Peter Balzs's Swiss pass

Peter Balzs's Swiss pass

Zentai, known at the time at Karoly Steiner, was indicted by the Peoples Court of Budapest in 1948 but escaped Hungary fleeing through France and Italy . He has been living in Perth since 1950.

The appeal follows a March hearing when magistrate Barbara Lane’s decision to allow him to be extradited was upheld by Justice John Gilmour.

Now released on bail of $50,000 with an added surety of $75,000, Zentai must not go within 100m meters of an international departure point and has surrendered his passport.

Chief Justice Michael Black has said that the Court would try to reach a decision as quickly as possible.

Charles Zentai

Charles Zentai

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