Daily Israel Report

Slovak Police Find Key Witness in Trial of Nazi War Criminal

Slovak police have found a key witness in the case of suspected Nazi war criminal Laszlo Csatary, Hungarian media reported.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 1/11/2013, 2:15 AM

Laszlo Csatary
Laszlo Csatary
Reuters

Slovak police have found a key witness in the case of suspected Nazi war criminal Laszlo Csatary, Hungarian public radio announced Tuesday.

While authorities have not yet disclosed the identity of the witness, it has been established that he or she survived the deportation of Jews from Kassa, now Kosice in Slovakia, in 1944 and presumably has accurate information about Csatary’s actions as police commander of the local ghetto.

The Budapest Public Prosecutor’s Office requested that Slovak authorities question the witness, a spokeswoman for the Budapest prosecutor's office said, according to politics.hu. 

According to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Csatary played a key role in the deportation of over 15,000 Jews to the Auschwitz death camp in the spring of 1944.

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.

In August, Csatary was cleared in Hungary of a separate set of charges pertaining to the deportation of 300 Jews from Kosice to their deaths at the Kamyanets-Podilsky camp in Ukraine in 1941. 

The 97-year-old suspect, who was put under house arrest in Budapest last July, denies all charges against him.