Hungarian authorities urged to probe man suspected of Nazi-era crimes

The Jerusalem-based Simon Wiesenthal Center sent a petition to the Hungarian Embassy in Israel asking Hungarian authorities "to initiate criminal proceedings against Lajos Polgar if unequivocal evidence is discovered," the ministry said in a statement. He also said that for reasons of jurisdiction, it would forward the request to the public prosecutor's office.

Copies of court records from the 1940s included in the center's request allegedly show that Polgar made numerous decisions affecting Hungarian Jews and may have participated in killings and persecutions.

According to Australian media reports, Polgar, 89, acknowledged having been a member of the Arrow Cross, the Nazis' Hungarian allies, during World War II, but denied having committed any crimes against Jews.

Charles Zentai, another Hungarian man living in Australia, is to face an extradition hearing next year, accused of murdering a Jewish teenager in 1944.

The case against Zentai, 83, was also brought to light by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. A.M.

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