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Man, 98, dies before war crimes trial

Laszlo Csatary was charged in June.

Laszlo Csatary was charged in June.

LONDON — A 98-year-old man accused of whipping and beating Jews and helping send them to the Auschwitz death camp in World War II, and whose name figures prominently on an authoritative list of suspected war criminals, died over the weekend in Budapest while awaiting trial, his lawyer said Monday.

Laszlo Csatary was charged in June with having “intentionally assisted the unlawful executions and tortures committed against Jewish people” for his role in the deportation of Jews from the ghetto in Kassa, now called Kosice, in eastern Slovakia, according to prosecutors. He had denied the accusations.

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His lawyer, Gabor Horvath, told news agencies in Budapest on Monday that the Hungarian-born Csatary died of pneumonia Saturday. Csatary ranked highly on an annual list, most recently in April, of the most-wanted Nazi criminals published by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, based in Jerusalem.

The accusations about his past have followed him since the war. In 1948, he was tried in absentia and sentenced to death in the former Czechoslovakia, but, according to the Wiesenthal center, he fled to Canada and became a citizen there. In 1997, Canadian authorities stripped him of citizenship. He was discovered living in Budapest in 2011.

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