The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Wednesday "harshly criticized" the Australian High Court's decision earlier in the day to block the extradition of an alleged Nazi war criminal to Hungary to stand trial for the murder of a Jewish teenager.
Charles Zentai, now 90, was accused by Hungarian authorities of beating to death a Jewish teenager, Peter Balazs, in Budapest in 1944. Australia's highest court ruled that Zentai could not be extradited to the country of his birth because the offense "war crime" did not exist in Hungarian law at the time the murder was alleged to have been committed.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center director and Nazi hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff questioned the basis for the rejection of the Hungarian extradition request and noted that "numerous Nazi war criminals had been extradited from countries of refuge to stand trial in Germany for crimes which had not yet been categorized as such when they were committed."
On behalf of the The Simon Wiesenthal Center, Zuroff extended his sympathies to the family, "who tried to see justice achieved in this case, but were thwarted by the Australian authorities.”