László Csizsik-Csatáry, the alleged Nazi war criminal, was charged this week with participating in the murder of 15,700 Jews during the Holocaust.
Hungarian prosecutors said the 98-year-old was the police commander of the Kosice detention camp — then in Slovakia — where he assaulted Jews with a dog whip before sending all those interned to Auschwitz.
Budapest Investigative Prosecutors’ Office spokeswoman Bettina Bagoly stated: “With his actions, Laszlo Csatáry… deliberately provided help to the unlawful executions and torture committed against Jews deported to concentration camps… from Kosice.”
Prosecutors have also claimed that he ensured that 80 Jews being deported were not permitted ventilation holes in their railway carriage.
The former policeman was found last July in Budapest after an extensive search by the Sun newspaper, in conjunction with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
Csizsik-Csatáry, who topped the Centre’s list of wanted Nazi criminals before his arrest, lived in Canada for decades following the Second World War, where he acted as an art dealer. He left the country in 1997, when his citizenship was revoked on the basis that he had lied about his previous nationality, which he claimed was Yugoslavian.
He denies the allegations, stating that he simply intermediated between German and Hungarian officials.
Ms Bagoly told the Associated Press that, given the special importance of the trial, proceedings are expected to begin within three months.