Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Arrest in Perth of “Operation:Last Chance” Suspect Zentai Following Approval by Australian Justice Minister Ellison of Hungarian Extradition Request; Urges Prompt Completion of Process so that Justice Can Be Achieved

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today welcomed the decision of Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison to approve the request of the Hungarian authorities for the extradition of “Operation: Last Chance” suspect Charles Zentai so that he can be tried in Budapest for his Holocaust crimes. Evidence regarding Zentai’s crimes and current whereabouts in Perth were submitted by the Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, to both the Hungarian and Australian authorities in November 2004, following receipt of incriminating documents from the brother of one of his victims in the framework of the Center’s “Operation: Last Chance” which seeks to facilitate the prosecution of Nazi war criminals.

In a statement issued by Zuroff today in Jerusalem , the Center expressed its deep satisfaction with the decision of Justice Minister Ellison and urged the Australian authorities to expedite the extradition process so that justice in the Zentai case could finally be achieved. Zuroff also cautioned that Zentai might attempt to prevent his extradition by exaggerating existent health issues and/or creating imaginary ailments, as have other suspected Nazi war criminals facing extradition and prosecution for their crimes.

According to Zuroff: “Today’s decision moves us another step closer to achieving justice and is a powerful reminder that Nazi war criminals can still be held accountable for their crimes. His extradition to stand trial in Budapest will constitute the first successful legal action taken in Australia against a Holocaust perpetrator and we look forward to that taking place as quickly as possible.”

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