Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Appeal against war crimes acquittal

Sandor Kepiro has been cleared of war crimes during the Second World War (AP)

Prosecutors are to appeal against the acquittal of a 97-year-old man of war crimes charges in connection with a Second World War-era raid by Hungarian forces in which hundreds of civilians were killed.

Prosecutor Zsolt Falvai said he considered the Budapest Court's ruling to be "unfounded" and would file an appeal.

He has until late Friday to do so.

Judge Bela Varga ruled Monday there was not enough evidence to convict Sandor Kepiro, a former gendarmerie captain, of involvement in the deaths of 36 mostly Jews and Serbs during a 1942 raid in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, then under Hungarian control.

Serbian authorities and Israel's Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which alerted Hungarian authorities to the case, protested the acquittal.

"I am innocent. I never killed, never stole. I served my country," said the statement read out by Kepiro's psychologist.

He added that Kepiro said he returned to Hungary from Argentina in 1996 "because for him without Hungary there is no life".

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