PASSINGS: Laszlo Csatary, Prince Johan Friso

Alleged Hungarian war criminal Laszlo Csatary covers his face in a car as he leaves the Budapest prosecutor's office in 2012, where he was questioned by detectives on charges of war crimes. He was indicted in June 2013 by Hungarian authorities for abusing Jews and contributing to their deportation to Nazi death camps during World War II.
(Bea Kallos / Associated Press)

Laszlo Csatary

Suspected Nazi war criminal


Laszlo Csatary, 98, a Hungarian war crimes suspect who allegedly brutalized and deported thousands of Jewish prisoners to the infamous Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz during World War II, died of pneumonia at a Budapest hospital on Saturday, his lawyer said Monday.

Csatary was charged with war crimes by Hungarian prosecutors in June. He denied allegations that he was involved in torture and deportation while serving as a police commander in the town of Kosice in 1944. Kosice is now in Slovakia but was then part of Hungary, an ally of Nazi Germany.

He was found guilty in absentia in 1948 by a court in Kosice of whipping and torturing Jewish prisoners and sending them to Auschwitz, and was sentenced to death, but his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.

Csatary was born March 4, 1915, in the central Hungarian village of Many. He arrived in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia in 1949, became a Canadian citizen in 1955 and worked as an art dealer in Montreal. He left Canada in 1997, after it was discovered that he had lied about his Nazi-era past to obtain citizenship, and authorities were close to deciding his fate in a deportation hearing.

Proceedings in Hungary had been suspended on July 8 of this year on the grounds of double jeopardy, as he had already been convicted of the charges against him. That decision was under appeal.

Prince Johan Friso

Brother of Dutch king

Prince Johan Friso, 44, the younger brother of recently enthroned King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, died Monday as a result of brain injuries suffered during a skiing accident 18 months ago, according to an official statement from the palace in The Hague.

Friso was buried by an avalanche while skiing off-trail despite avalanche warnings in the Austrian Alps in February 2012. He was rescued after lying under the snow for about 20 minutes but suffered irreversible brain damage and remained in a coma.

The prince attended UC Berkeley and received degrees in mechanical engineering and economics from Delft and Rotterdam universities. He was chief financial officer in a British nuclear power company until his accident. His career also included time at London branches of Goldman Sachs and Wolfensohn investment firm.

Although he kept his royal title of prince of Orange-Nassau, he had renounced any claim to the throne in 2004, when parliament would not approve his marriage to Mabel Wisse Smit after royal vetting of her past uncovered a onetime relationship with a renowned drug baron when she was a student.

Times staff and wire reports