Suspected Nazi-era war criminal Laszlo Csatary was sentenced to a 20-year prison term in abstentia in Pecs back in 1945, news website hvg.hu said quoting Zoltan Balassa, a historian in Kosice (Kassa), on Sunday.
Should his information be confirmed by archived documents, it may serve as evidence against the 97-year-old man, who is living in Hungary today, it said.
“Csatary was arrested in Veszprem in 1945 and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Pecs but he fled Hungary before the trial,” Balassa told hvg.hu. Later on, Csatary pretended to be a Yugoslav citizen and settled in Canada, where he lived for more than four decades before returning to Hungary in the late 1990s.
According to Jerusalem’s Wiesenthal Centre, Csatary, as police commander of the ghetto in Kassa, had a key role in the deportation of over 15,000 Jews to the Auschwitz death camp in the spring of 1944, and around 300 Jews to a camp in western Ukraine’s Kamyanets-Podilsky three years before.
The Budapest Investigating Prosecution Office concluded in early August that allegations by Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff that Csatary had been linked to the 1941 deportations were groundless.
Csatary was charged with war crimes and put under house arrest on July 18. The one-time commander of the Kassa detention camp denies the charges.