Hungarian authorities issued an international
arrest warrant for a man in Australia suspected of being
a former Nazi, a report said Thursday.
Charles Zentai, 86, has been the subject of an investigation by Hungary's Foreign
Ministry since December on suspicion that he killed at least
one Jew in Budapest in 1944. The Hungarian-born Zentai now
lives in Perth, Australia.
The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal
Center, which tracks down suspected war criminals accused
of taking part in the Holocaust, said it had extensive evidence
documenting Zentai's alleged crimes.
Zentai has publicly denied allegations,
telling Australia's Nine Network television that he never
knew the murdered man.
"All I have to say and
want to say at this stage is that this is all wrong and I'm
prepared to go back to Hungary to defend myself," he said.
Extradition procedures must be initiated
by Hungary's Justice Ministry, the daily newspaper Magyar
Nemzet said, adding that Australia might refuse the request,
despite a 1997 bilateral extradition treaty signed by both
Officials at the Wiesenthal Center
have called for the trial to be held in Hungary, the paper
Zentai was located as part of the
Simon Wiesenthal Center's Operation Last Chance - a campaign
aimed at locating and prosecuting World War II war criminals.
Targeting people in the Baltic states,
Croatia, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Romania, the campaign
has so far identified about 300 suspects. It offers up to
$10,000 for information leading to the prosecution of war