Slovak courts will deal with Csatáry in absentia

Ladislav Csatáry, a Nazi supporter accused of several war crimes, including the deportation of Jews, is due to face court in Košice. Since he did not choose a defender, the court picked one for him and set the date of the proceeding for July 19, Košice courts spokesperson Marcela Gálová. She added that the court would decide whether he should be sent to the prison to finish his earlier life sentence, the SITA newswire reported on June 18. However, Csatáry is currently in Hungary and there is no indication that the authorities prosecuting him there plan to send him to Slovakia.

Ladislav Csatáry, a Nazi supporter accused of several war crimes, including the deportation of Jews, is due to face court in Košice. Since he did not choose a defender, the court picked one for him and set the date of the proceeding for July 19, Košice courts spokesperson Marcela Gálová. She added that the court would decide whether he should be sent to the prison to finish his earlier life sentence, the SITA newswire reported on June 18. However, Csatáry is currently in Hungary and there is no indication that the authorities prosecuting him there plan to send him to Slovakia.

Csatáry, now 98, 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.

Earlier the same day the Prosecutor’s Office in neighbouring Hungary charged Csatáry with war crimes dating back to World War II, saying he is accused of “illegal executions and torturing people, which he committed partially as a perpetrator and partially as an accomplice”, the Sme daily quoted Bettina Bagoly, a spokesperson of the Budapest Prosecutor’s Office, as saying.

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 his original death sentence to a life sentence.

According to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Csatáry also played a key role in the deportation of 300 Košice inhabitants to Ukraine, where most of them were killed in summer 1941 in the town of Kamenyets Podilsky, 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.

Sources: SITA, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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