Australia's highest court ruled Wednesday that a 90-year-old citizen cannot be extradited to Hungary to face accusations he tortured and killed a Jewish teenager during World War II.
The High Court upheld a lower court's decision that reasoned war crimes charges former Hungarian soldier Charles Zentai may face did not exist at the time of the slaying, a conclusion criticized by the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Hungary says Zentai is suspected of beating the teen to death in Budapest in 1944 for failing to wear a star identifying him as a Jew. Zentai, who migrated to Australia in 1950 and later became a citizen, has denied the allegation and has been fighting extradition since 2005.
Last year, the Federal Court found that because the offense of "war crime" was not on Hungary's statute books when the teenager died in 1944, it was not an offense for which Zentai may be surrendered under Australia's extradition treaty with Hungary.