Hungarian Warrant Request for "Operation: Last Chance" Suspect Welcomed By Wiesenthal Center

February 24, 2005

Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Hungarian Warrant Request for "Operation: Last Chance" Suspect

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today welcomed the request for an arrest warrant against "Operation: Last Chance" suspect Charles (Karoly) Zentai submitted this week by the Hungarian military prosecutor to a judge in Budapest. This is the requisite first step which must be taken before Hungary can issue an official request for the extradition of Zentai who currently resides in Perth, Australia. The judge has 15 days to rule on the request.

"We welcome this step by the Hungarian military prosecutor," said the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff who met earlier this month in Budapest with military prosecutor Ference Nemesz and other Hungarian Justice Ministry officials to submit a list of potential witnesses in the Zentai case and offer the Center’s assistance in the investigation.

Zuroff expressed cautious optimism that Zentai would finally be held accountable for his crimes and noted that the Center preferred that he be tried in Budapest, the site of his crimes, rather than in Australia. "A trial in Hungary, where the alleged crimes were committed by Zentai, who served at that time in the Hungarian Army, would have far greater significance in public terms than if he were tried in Australia. In this regard, the educational and social dimensions of such a legal process should not be underestimated," said Zuroff.

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