Hungarian prosecutors say they have taken into custody, and charged with war crimes, a man suspected of taking part in the deportation of Jews in 1944.
Prosecutors say that Laszlo Cs., who has been identified by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary, was taken into custody on Wednesday on suspicion of committing war crimes and torture. Prosecutors said that considering Csatary's age, he is in a good physical and mental state.
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They say Csatary was a police officer in the Slovakian city of Kosice, at a time part of Hungary, when the Jews were deported to the death camp of Auschwitz.
On Sunday, British newspaper The Sun said it has tracked down the world’s most wanted Nazi war criminal — who helped send 15,700 Jews to their deaths at Auschwitz — in Budapest, Hungary.
The paper said Csatary, 97, fled to Canada after the war and was sentenced to death for war crimes in his absence in Czechoslovakia in 1948.
On Monday, Jewish students staged protests outside Csatary’s apartment block, demanding his arrest.
"I am elated. It's hard to describe how happy I am because we don't have many victories and this is indeed a victory, and a great one," Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel, told Ynet on Wednesday.
Zuroff said he was informed of Csatary’s arrest on Wednesday morning, adding that he has been indicted for war crimes and torture. He is currently under house arrest, which will also allow authorities to confiscate Csatary's passport.
"Now it's all up to the prosecution. I suppose the open letter I wrote to the Hungarian president while he was in Israel had some impact, but the Sun's work definitely contributed to the matter, and I personally thank them," Zuroff noted.
Associated Press contributed to this report
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