Nazi war crimes suspect dies awaiting trial

[JURIST] Laszlo Csatary, a 98-year-old Hungarian man charged with the unlawful execution and torture of people in connection with the Holocaust, died Monday after suffering a number of medical problems. Csatary died in a Hungarian hospital [BBC report] while awaiting trial, which was set to begin in September. Csatary was apprehended in Budapest in July 2012 and charged this June [JURIST report] and placed under house arrest. The arrest came after the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) [advocacy website], a Jewish human rights organization committed to finding and prosecuting Holocaust war criminals, submitted new evidence [JURIST report] to the Budapest prosecutor's office detailing the war crimes allegedly committed by Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary, a former senior Hungarian police officer in the Slovakian city of Kosice. The evidence submitted indicates Csatary aided in the deportation of 15,700 Jews to Auschwitz [JURIST news archive], and that Csatary was one of the main actors responsible for deporting 300 Jews from Kosice to Kamenetz-Podolsk in Ukraine, where they were killed in 1941. A court in Czechoslovakia sentenced Csatary to death in absentia in 1948, but the country subsequently abolished the death penalty before dividing into Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In March a Slovakian court altered Csatary's sentence to life imprisonment.

Despite the ages of the accused, authorities have continued to arrest individuals charged with war crimes during the Holocaust. Last month a German state court announced that it will require 92-year-old Siert Bruins, a former member of the Nazi Waffen SS [USHMM backgrounder], to go on trial in September after Bruins was charged for the murder [JURIST report] of resistance fighter Aldert Klaas Dijkema in 1944. In May German authorities arrested [JURIST report] a 93-year-old man for allegedly serving as a guard at Auschwitz and assisting in the mass murder carried out at the death camp. German prosecutors have reopened [JURIST report] hundreds of investigations involving former death camp guards after the conviction [JURIST report] of John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile; JURIST news archive] in May 2011 for the murder of thousands during the Holocaust. Demjanjuk was sentenced to five years in prison but was released early due to old age and died in September 2011 while awaiting an appeal [JURIST report].

 

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