Pressure on Hungary to prosecute Nazi war criminal Laszlo Csatary

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The French foreign ministry has joined Nazi hunters and Jewish community groups to call on prosecutors in Hungary to arrest Laszlo Csatary, 97, for his role in organising the deportation of 15,700 Jews to their deaths in Auschwitz.

"We believe that Nazi criminals, wherever they are, must answer for their acts before justice," said a spokesman for the French foreign ministry.

Csatary, who tops the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's most-wanted list of the Nazi war criminals, was last weekend discovered living peacefully in Budapest under his own name.

He had left Canada when he was unmasked by war crimes investigators in 1995.

Csatary fled Europe at the end of the war after being sentenced to death "in absentia" in 1948 by a Czechoslovakian court for crimes committed while he was police chief from 1941 in the Slovakian city of Kosice, then part of Hungary.

While in the town, known as Kassa in Hungarian and Kaschau in German, he was renowned for his brutality, beating women with a whip he carried on his belt and forcing them to dig holes with their bare hands.

During the war, he organised deportations of thousands of Jews to death camps in Nazi occupied Eastern Europe and is accused of complicity in the killing of at least 16,000 people.

Csatary has officially been under investigation by the Hungarian authorities since 11 September 2011 and is locally reported as having been under police surveillance since April....


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