BUDAPEST (AFP)—The verdict is expected Monday in the trial of suspected Nazi war criminal Sandor Kepiro, with the prosecution calling for a prison sentence, while the defence insists the 97-year-old should be acquitted.   
Judge Bela Varga said the court would deliver its verdict shortly after the hearing begins at 11:00 am, after both the prosecution and the defence have been given the opportunity to react to each of their final summations, delivered last month.   
The timing of the verdict was chosen because that was when Kepiro, very frail and hard of hearing, was likely to be most mentally alert, judge Varga explained.   

Once the verdict has been read out, the court would explain the reasons behind it and, given the frailty of Kepiro, that meant the hearing would likely have to run into a second day, he said.   

“I will first explain why it is our court, and not a Serbian court, which has heard the trial. And then we will explain our reasons for taking into account certain evidence or testimony, but rejected others,” Varga said.    

Both the defence and a number of experts heard during the proceedings,which began on May 5, have repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of some of the evidence against Kepiro, insisting the documentation was incomplete or incorrectly translated.   

The court will also explain whether it accepts or not two previous verdicts delivered on the case during the 1940s.   

The one-time gendarmerie officer is on trial for his alleged participation in a raid by Hungarian forces on the Serbian town of Novi Sad on January 21-23, 1942, in which more than 1,200 Jews and Serbs were murdered.   

Specifically, the 97-year-old — one of the last suspected Nazi war criminals to face trial — is accused of ordering the rounding up and execution of 36 Jews and Serbs as head of one of the patrols involved in the raid.