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Hungarian man, 98, dies awaiting trial for Nazi-era crimes

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - A 98-year-old Hungarian man has died awaiting trial on charges of torturing Jews and helping send them to Auschwitz in World War Two, his lawyer said on Monday.

Laszlo Csatary, who always denied the accusations, died of pneumonia in a Budapest hospital on Saturday, lawyer Gabor Horvath told Reuters.

The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center named Csatary their most wanted war crimes suspect last year.

He was found guilty in absentia in 1948 of whipping Jews while serving as police commander overseeing a detention camp in the Nazi-occupied eastern Slovak city of Kosice in 1944.

Csatary went on the run for decades until Hungarian authorities detained him in Budapest in July last year. He was banned from leaving the city and told he would face a fresh trial.

He was taken to court but the case was suspended as authorities reviewed the life sentence given to him after the 1948 case. Prosecutors were challenging the suspension of the hearing when he died.

Hungarian prosecutors accused him of regularly hitting Jewish prisoners with a dog-whip and helping arrange their deportation in Kosice, which was then part of Hungary and is now in Slovakia.

Around 12,000 Jews were deported from Kosice to a number of death camps, most of them to Auschwitz.

(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs and Marton Dunai)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130812/hungarian-man-98-dies-awaiting-trial-nazi-era-crimes