Just when thinks government officials can’t possibly be any more tone-deaf when it comes to dealing with sensitive issues, along comes another dim-witted bureaucrat or two eager and able to lower the bar.
In Hungary, prosecutors said Monday that investigating a 97-year-old Nazi war criminal found alive and well in Budapest was “problematic” because the events took place so long ago and in a different country.
Laszlo Csatary has spent the past 15 years living undisturbed since he was deported from Canada for his actions during World War II, which included helping organize the shipping of nearly 16,000 Jews to Auschwitz in 1944.
A probe into Csatary began in September after information was received from the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center, which ranks him number one on their wanted list, the public prosecutors’ office said.
The crime is alledged to have taken place in Kosice, which was then in Hungary but is now in Slovakia.
Prosecutors in Hungary said the investigation “therefore has to explore an event remote in both time and place,” with “significant part” of the probe dedicated to finding possible witnesses, some of whom may live abroad, according to Agence France-Presse.
“It took place 68 years ago in an area that now falls under the jurisdiction of another country – which also with regard to the related international conventions raises several investigative and legal problems,” a statement said.
“Finding the answers to the aforementioned questions is a precondition to clarifying the facts and determining further investigative actions.”