Charles Zentai’s first day in jail

October 23, 2009 by Henry Benjamin
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Zentai’s son Ernie visited his father in prison today. Charles Zentai, 88, awaits his fate, in the hands of Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor. The Hungarian government is seeking his extradition to answer questions on the 1944 murder in Budapest of 18-yr-old Jewish youth Peter Balazs.Ernie Steiner’s report:

My sister and I have just returned from visiting our Dad at Hakea prison. As you could imagine it was a very emotional time. My father is being looked after according to the rules of the prison however the rules are inadequate for a man of his age and condition. The staff at Hakea are doing their best for my father but they are bound by the regulations. Despite assurances to the contrary my father is not receiving the same medical care as he would on the outside. His heart medication has been taken from him and there is no guarantee that he will be allowed these in the future. He has been informed that he cannot have prescription strength paracetamol nor his usual prescription medication for sleep. He needs the prescription paracetamol for chronic back and neck pain. My father is also in need of a diuretic to prevent swelling in his legs from heart failure.  A prison doctor will visit him today. Additionally he is not allowed a chair in his cell and has to sit on his bed propped up by a pillow. This causes him a lot of discomfort and pain. He is also not allowed to take a short sleep during the day which for an 88 year old man is detrimental to his well being. Nevertheless he is staying positive, strong in his innocence and hopes that this period of trauma will soon be resolved.

Balazs was dragged from a tram in Budapest because he was not wearing the mandatory Yellow Star of David. He was savagely beaten to death in an army barracks and his body dumped in the Danube. J-Wire has an ad from the Budapest newspaper in which Balazs’s father appeals for information on his missing son. Zentai is wanted by the Hungarian authorities for questioning about the murder.

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