3 Jul 2010

Extradition overturned by court

12:42 pm on 3 July 2010

An Australian accused of war crimes during World War II has successfully appealed against a decision to extradite him to Hungary.

Charles Zentai, 88, has been fighting the extradition request for five years and has always maintained his innocence.

Federal Court Justice Neil McKerracher ruled on humanitarian grounds it would be oppressive to send him back, given his age and ill health.

Justice McKerracher also ruled that the federal government did not have the power to extradite Mr Zentai to face questioning over the death of a Jewish teenager in Budapest in 1944.

The ABC reports Mr Zentai previously lost all of his legal battles against the extradition.

Documents released by his family on Friday show he recently suffered a stroke and has numerous broken ribs.

Mr Zentai's son Ernie Steiner has urged the federal government not to appeal against the decision.