BUDAPEST — Citing double jeopardy, a Hungarian court suspended the trial of war criminal and ex-Montrealer Laszlo Csizsik-Csatary three weeks after its start in Budapest.
In suspending the trial on July 8, the Metropolitan Tribunal of Budapest said Csatary, 98, already may have been convicted and sentenced for some of the crimes attributed to him, the Hungarian news agency MTI reported. The crimes include torturing Jews and deporting them to their deaths during World War II.
Csatary, a former police commander of the Kassa internment camp in Slovakia, was sentenced to death in absentia for his crimes in 1948 by a Czechoslovakian court after he fled to Canada.
He arrived in Canada in 1949, claiming to be a Yugoslav natural. He settled in Montreal and became an art dealer, acquiring citizenship in 1955.
The Budapest Prosecutor’s Office told MTI the earlier ruling was immaterial to the trial in Budapest and that the prosecutors would appeal the suspension.
Csatary was deported from Canada in 1997 after the federal cabinet revoked his citizenship and was indicted in Hungary last year, where he resided under his own name since his deportation. He was discovered by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and arrested last year following an expose on him in the British paper The Sun. He was indicted last month, nearly a year after his arrest.
Slovakia has asked that Csatary be extradited to face additional charges, but Hungary has declined the request.
The Canadian Jewish News (CJN) is a not for profit media organization, serving the Jewish community, by providing a platform for diverse points of view, on subjects of interest and relevance. With an audited circulation of nearly 32,000, and read by more than 100,000 people each week, The CJN is Canada's largest award-winning weekly Jewish newspaper.