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The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday blasted Australia for delaying the extradition of a suspected war criminal to Hungary, saying that the Australian government has abysmally failed in the investigation and persecution of Nazi war criminals.
The group's harsh reaction came after Australia's highest court agreed Monday to hear 84-year-old suspected war criminal Charles Zentai's appeal against his extradition on war crimes charges.
"Australia's failure to prevent the obstruction of justice... by legal tricks in no way connected to the charges...is one of the most disappointing events over the last year," said the organization's chief Nazi hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff.
"Instead of stopping the abuse of the legal system, he was again rewarded today with another hearing which will delay his extradition appeal and probably help him completely elude justice," he said.
Zentai became an Australian citizen after immigrating to the country in 1950.
Hungary's foreign ministry has been investigating him for nearly three years on suspicion that he killed Peter Balazs, 18, for failing to wear a yellow star identifying him as a Jew.
Zentai has denied the charges against him.
Zentai, who lives in the Western Australian town of Perth, appears on the Wiesenthal Center's listing of top 10 most wanted Nazis.