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Hungarian charged with Nazi-era war crimes dies

In this Wednesday, July 18, 2012 file photo, alleged Hungarian war criminal Laszlo Csatary sits in a car as he leaves the Budapest Prosecutor's Office after he was questioned by detectives on charges of war crimes during WWII and prosecutors ordered his house arrest in Budapest, Hungary.
In this Wednesday, July 18, 2012 file photo, alleged Hungarian war criminal Laszlo Csatary sits in a car as he leaves the Budapest Prosecutor's Office after he was questioned by detectives on charges of war crimes during WWII and prosecutors ordered his house arrest in Budapest, Hungary. Bea Kallos (AP Photo/MTI) FILE

BUDAPEST, Hungary – A former police officer who was stripped of his Canadian citizenship and indicted by Hungarian authorities for abusing Jews, has died.

Laszlo Csatary, who lived for years in Montreal, was 98.

His lawyer says he died on Saturday of pneumonia in a Budapest hospital.

Hungarian authorities claimed earlier this year that Csatary was the chief of an internment camp set up in a brick factory in 1944 for around 12-thousand Jews in a Slovak city then part of Hungary.

They accused him of beating them with his bare hands and a dog whip regularly and without reason.

He had also been charged with “actively participating” in the deportation of thousands of Jews to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps.

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Csatary denied all those charges.

He was initially convicted in absentia for similar war crimes in Czechoslovakia in 1948 and sentenced to death.

He arrived in Halifax the following year and became a Canadian citizen in 1955.

In 1997, Csatary quietly left Canada as authorities prepared to serve him notice of a deportation hearing at his home in Toronto.

Federal cabinet had revoked his citizenship on the basis he had lied about his past when he came to Canada, telling authorities he was a Yugoslav national.