No jail for Zentai

May 12, 2009 by J-Wire
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Charles Zentai, an accused Nazi war criminal, will not be held on remand while he fights the decision to extradite him to Hungary.

Efraim Zuroff

Efraim Zuroff

Yesterday, the Federal Court in Perth ruled that the 87-year-old should remain free on bail after the Hungarian authorities stated they no longer opposed bail.

No reason was given for the change of mind although on March 23, the Hungarian Prime Minister resigned from office.

Zentai’s extradition to Hungary to face investigation regarding the murder of  18-year-old Peter Balazs, a Jewish youth spotted on a Budapest tram not wearing the mandatory yellow Star of David, had been approved by the Federal Court.  Zentai is challenging the decision.

From Jerusalem, Efraim Zuroff, the Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, told J-Wire: “While this decision is unfortunate, it is merely a secondary issue to the more important question of Zentai’s extradition to stand trial for his crime. And in this respect, the delay in his appeal is further evidence of the lack of understanding on the part of the Australian judicial authorities for the necessity of expediting such cases.”

Zentai remains free on a $75,000 surety, having surrendered his passport and committed to not going within 100 meters of an international departure terminal.

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