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Nazi war crimes suspect Laszlo Csatary dies at 98

By Joseph Netto and Holly Yan, CNN
August 12, 2013 -- Updated 1446 GMT (2246 HKT)
(File photo) Laszlo Csatary leaves the courthouse in Budapest, Hungary, on July 18, 2012.
(File photo) Laszlo Csatary leaves the courthouse in Budapest, Hungary, on July 18, 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Csatary was accused of sending 15,000 Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp
  • He was arrested last year after a Jewish rights group discovered him living in Hungary
  • Csatary had denied allegations against him to a British tabloid
  • Lawyer: "With the death of Csatary there are no further proceedings in this case"

(CNN) -- Laszlo Csatary, the Nazi war crimes suspect who was arrested last year, has died, his lawyer told Hungarian media. He was 98.

Csatary was accused of sending more than 15,000 Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp in the spring of 1944.

"With the death of Csatary there are no further proceedings in this case," lawyer Gabor Horvath told Hungarian state news agency MTI. He said Csatary died Saturday.

Csatary was arrested in June 2012 after a Jewish rights organization discovered him living in Budapest. The Simon Wiesenthal Center considered him its most-wanted Nazi war criminal.

"This is a very unfortunate end to a saga that lasted far too long," Efraim Zuroff, director of the center's Israel office, said Monday. "Csatary should have been brought to justice shortly after the war. ... We gave the Hungarian prosecutors evidence two years ago, and this should have been taken care of months ago in Budapest."

Csatary served as a senior Hungarian police officer in the city of Kosice, which is now in Slovakia but was under Hungarian rule in the 1940s, the center said.

In addition to the Auschwitz deportations, Csatary was accused of participating in the deportations of 300 Jews to the Ukraine to be killed, Zuroff said.

Using the last name Csizsik, Csatary arrived in Canada in 1949, telling immigration officials he was Yugoslavian, according to The Toronto Star newspaper.

Canadian authorities later investigated allegations that he had lied to immigration authorities about his past when he arrived there. Canada revoked his citizenship in 1997 and initiated an investigation.

Csatary voluntarily left Canada amid deportation proceedings and returned to Hungary.

After receiving tips from Zuroff, Hungarian authorities launched an investigation on Csatary in September 2011, the center said.

Csatary denied allegations against him to the British tabloid The Sun.

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