After efforts of the Slovak side, the Hungarian Prosecutor’s Office charged László Csatáry, aged 98, for war crimes dating back to World War II. “He is accused of illegal executions and torturing people, which he committed partially as a perpetrator and partially as an accomplice,” the Budapest Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Bettina Bagolyová specified, as quoted by the Sme daily.
She added that Csatáry’s case could go to court within three months. Csatáry, now 97, served as a commander in the Košice Jewish ghetto during WWII and is suspected of assisting in the murder of as many as 15,700 Jews who were deported from Košice (then under Hungarian occupation, and known as Kassa) to concentration camps. A Czechoslovak court sentenced him to death in absentia back in 1948. He fled to Canada and lived abroad, but the UK's Sun newspaper tracked him down in Budapest last July. The Košice Regional Court on January 31, 2013 changed the original death sentence to a life sentence.
According to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Csatáry also played a key role in deportations of 300 Košice inhabitants to Ukraine, where most of them were killed in summer 1941 in the town of Kamenec Podolsky, Sme wrote. Košice police are still investigating Csatáry’s war crimes, including the case of imprisonment and deportation of a Košice inhabitant, aged 17, to forced labour in Germany in January 1945. The criminal complaint was filed by the son of the victim last August and Csatáry has not been prosecuted for this case so far.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
18. Jun 2013 at 14:00