Accused Nazi killer charged in Budapest

A former Hungarian military officer was charged with war crimes during World War II by prosecutors in Budapest.

Sandor Kepiro, 96, was charged Monday for involvement in the murder of some 1,200 Jews, Serbs and Gypsies during a raid by the wartime Hungarian Gendarmerie at Novi Sad in 1942.

He was found guilty on charges arising from the massacre shortly after the event by an independent Hungarian court, but his sentence was quashed after the invasion of the country by Nazi Germany in 1944.

Kepiro has lived openly in Hungary for the past five years, returning there after living in Argentina for decades. After World War II, Kepiro escaped first to Austria and then Argentina, eventually returning home on the assumption that his case would not be reopened in the absence of fresh evidence. He now lives in an elegant district of Buda across the street from a thriving synagogue.

Kepiro was discovered in Budapest in 2006 by Ephraim Zuroff, the American-born Israeli historian, Nazi hunter and director of the Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem.

In 2007, Kepiro sued Zuroff, alleging that he had made statements about the Novi Sad case as fact rather than opinion. A Budapest court tossed the case last December after Kepiro failed to appear in court.

In 2008, Serbian prosecutors launched a war crimes investigation into Kepiro’s actions.

Kepiro told the Associated Press that he is bedridden and wants to return to his family in Argentina.