The district police of Slovakia’s Kosice has launched criminal proceedings against 97-year-old Laszlo Csatary, suspecting him of being an associate in war crime, a police spokesperson told MTI on Wednesday.
Citing the police statement, Jana Mesarova said that on January 10, 1945, the suspects, acting as representatives of the state power, had for no apparent reason taken into custody and kept at the police headquarters of Kosice a 17-year-old local man. Later they sent the man to labour camp to an unspecified location in Germany, and he only returned on August 14, 1945.
Spokesman for the prosecution Milan Filicko said the police statement will be examined and if found accurate, charges could be raised.
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.
At the end of the war, Csatary fled Hungary and settled in Canada, where he was granted Canadian citizenship in 1955. He was sentenced to death in absentia by the Czechoslovak authorities in 1948. In October 1997, Csatary left Canada to avoid procedures of expulsion after it turned out that his application for citizenship had contained false data.
Csatary was put under house arrest on July 18. The one-time commander of the Kassa detention camp denies the charges.