Top Nazi war crimes suspect charged in Hungary

Top Nazi war crimes suspect Laszlo Csatari, accused of overseeing thousands of Jewish deportations during World War II, was charged with war crimes on Tuesday in Hungary, prosecutors said.

The 98-year-old, under house arrest since last year, is listed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as its most-wanted alleged Nazi war criminal.

The Nazi-hunting organisation says that Csatari was a senior Hungarian police officer in charge of the Kosice ghetto, in what is now Slovakia.

It says that in this role, he helped organise the deportation to Ukraine and the Nazi death camp Auschwitz of some 15,700 Jews between 1941 and 1944.

He was sentenced to death in absentia in 1948 by a court in what was then Czechoslovakia.

Csatari, whose full name is Laszlo Csizsik-Csatari, sometimes spelt Csizsik-Csatary, was arrested on July 18, 2012 in Budapest on the basis of information provided by the Wiesenthal Center.

Csatari had fled to Canada after World War II but apparently lived undisturbed in Hungary for about 15 years before his arrest. At a court hearing last July he denied all the accusations.

"Since we are talking here about an extraordinary case, the court has 90 days to begin trial proceedings," a spokesman for the public prosecutors office told AFP on Tuesday.