Wiesenthal Center: Decision to Block Extradition of Zentai to Hungary for War Crimes Seals Australia’s Total Failure to Bring Nazi War Criminals to Justice

August 15, ‏2012

Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center harshly criticized this morning’s decision by the Australian High Court to block the extradition to Hungary for war crimes of suspected Nazi collaborator Charles (Karoly) Zentai (pictured). In a statement issued here by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center questioned the basis for the rejection of the Hungarian extradition request and noted that numerous Nazi war criminals had been extradited from countries of refuge to stand trial in Germany for crimes which had not yet been categorized as such when they were committed.

According to Zuroff:

“Today’s unfortunate decision to refuse the Hungarian extradition request appears to ignore numerous legal precedents which in the past facilitated the prosecution of the leaders of the Third Reich and additional Nazi war criminals. In practical terms, it signals a dismal conclusion to Australia’s totally unsuccessful efforts to bring to justice any of the numerous Nazi war criminals who found refuge in the country. Today is a sad day for Australia, and for justice, but most of all for the Nazis’ victims, their families and those who empathize with their suffering. Our sympathies today are with the Balazs family, whose brother Peter was the victim of Zentai and his accomplices, and who tried to see justice achieved in this case, but were thwarted by the Australian authorities.”

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).