Laszlo Balogh / Reuters
Hungarian Laszlo Csatary died, aged 98, before he could face war crimes charges including helping to deport Jews to Auschwitz.
BUDAPEST, Hungary -- A 98-year-old Hungarian man awaiting trial on charges of torturing Jews and helping send them to Auschwitz during World War Two has died, his lawyer said Monday.
Laszlo Csatary, who always denied the accusations, died from pneumonia in a Budapest hospital on Saturday, lawyer Gabor Horvath told Reuters.
The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center named Csatary as 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, then part of Hungary and now in Slovakia.
It is thought that around 12,000 Jews were deported from Kosice to a number of death camps, with the majority going to Auschwitz.
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