Zentai’s bid to avoid extradition fails

March 31, 2009 by J-Wire
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Perth’s Federal Court has upheld a magistrate’s ruling than an alleged Hungarian war criminal is eligible for extradition to face a charge of murdering a Jewish teenager.

Charles Zentai

Charles Zentai

Charles Zentai, 87, had applied to the Court claiming that the charge against him was invalid as it did not constitute a war crime at the time of the murder of 18-yr-old Peter Balazs. The Jewish teenager, living in Budapest under Swiss protection, was spotted on a tram not wearing the compulsory yellow Star of David. It is alleged that Zentai, in the company of two others, brutally murdered Balazs in a Budapest army barracks in November, 1944.

Zentai has seven days to give the court good reason why he should not now be held in custody, with his lawyers gaining the extension due to claims of poor health.

J-Wire spoke to Efraim Zuroff, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Institute in Jerusalem. He said: “It’s time to stop showing sympathy to this guy and to focus on showing sympathy to the victims. It’s time to stop all this court to-ing and fro-ing and send him to Hungary to face the charges. The Hungarians want him extradited, the Australian magistrate and now the Federal Court agree he should be extradited…so let justice prevail.”

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