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      Most-Wanted Nazi was Sentenced to Prison and Escaped

      New evidence indicates that Laszlo Csatary was sent to prison for 20 years in 1945, but inexplicably managed to escape.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 8/20/2012, 2:12 AM

      Csatary covers his face as he leaves the prosecution building in Budapest
      Csatary covers his face as he leaves the prosecution building in Budapest
      Reuters

      New evidence published this week in the Hungarian weekly HVG indicates new discoveries concerning Nazi war crimes suspect Laszlo Csatary, who is accused of overseeing the deportation of thousands of Jews to their deaths during World War II.

      According to the new evidence, Csatary was convicted and sent to prison for 20 years following World War II, in 1945, but inexplicably managed to escape from prison.

      Csatary is accused of abusing Jews and helping to send thousands of them to death camps while serving as a police officer in charge of the Jewish ghetto in the city of Kosice. Other evidence collected by the Hungarian weekly shows that in 1948, the Nazi war criminal was sentenced to death in absentia by a Czechoslovakia court.

      The 97-year-old Csatary was detained in Hungary in July and charged by local authorities with “unlawful torture of human beings.”

      The British tabloid The Sun recently tracked down Csatary, photographing him and confronting him at his front door.

      Slovakia's Jewish community has called for Csatary to stand trial on Slovak soil for alleged crimes he committed against Jews in a former Hungarian province.

      “We are calling on Slovak authorities to ask for Csatary's extradition to Slovakia so that he can stand trial here,” Jaroslav Franek, spokesman for the Federation of Jewish Communities, said last month.

      His arrest followed global appeals from the Jewish community for justice to be served on the suspected war criminal, who now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

      Csatary was able to escape Europe and made it to Canada, where he lived and worked as an art dealer before being stripped of his citizenship there in the 1990s.

      He ended up in Budapest where he has lived freely ever since, until the Wiesenthal Center alerted Hungarian authorities last year. 

      Csatary has denied all allegations against him.