Saturday, September 23, 2006

Zentai Extradition hearing delayed

From The International Herald Tribune, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2006, by Associated Press ....

PERTH, Australia: Proceedings to extradite to Hungary an elderly man accused of torturing and slaying a Jewish teenager during World War II were delayed Friday after he lodged an appeal.

Charles Zentai, 84, has been under investigation by Hungary's Foreign Ministry since December 2004 on suspicion of murdering Peter Balazs, 18, on Nov. 8, 1944, for failing to wear a yellow star identifying him as a Jew.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center alleges that Zentai tortured and beat Balazs to death in a Budapest army barracks. Zentai, who emigrated to Australia in 1950 and became an Australian citizen soon after, has denied the claim.

Zentai appeared briefly Friday in Perth Magistrate's Court, where his lawyer, Michael Bowden, said the accused had lodged an appeal against a Federal Court ruling last month that dismissed his challenge to the extradition proceedings.

Chief Magistrate Steven Heath adjourned the hearing until Dec. 11, when he is to decide whether to set a date for the extradition hearing.

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