According to a pro-government daily, the Hungarian left is soft on Béla Biszku, and asks for a symbolic sentence, but did not protest when the Wiesenthal Center accused Hungary of not being tough enough on Sándor Képíró, who stood trial for War crimes in 1942, and was acquitted. Another pro-government daily says Biszku cannot be forgiven for he never admitted his guilt.
On the Biszku sentence see BudaPost May 15. Sándor Képíró was first convicted in 1944, but only served a short part of his prison sentence. He was tried again in 2011, by then 97 years old, and acquitted on grounds of insufficient evidence. At the time both left-wing and right-wing commentators compared the case with that of communist era perpetrators, with specific mention of Béla Biszku, and agreed it was almost impossible to administer justice after so many years. (See BudaPost July 25, 2011.)
Zsuzsanna Körmendy in her Magyar Nemzet editorial says leftist commentators show double standards when they weep for Biszku, but failed to show compassion when Sándor Képíró was put on trial. She ridicules reports that mention that Biszku asked for a stool after a few hours in court to support his legs. One must also remember the stools, she says, that were kicked out from under those who were hanged during the retributions following the revolution. Even if it was not Biszku who delivered that lethal kick, he is responsible, she writes, and challenges her left-wing colleagues to tell her what Biszku is, if Képíró was an inveterate Nazi.
Magyar Hírlap’s columnist Gábor Mező emphasizes that 5 years and 6 months, if divided by the number of people who were killed after 1956, comes to almost nothing. He dismisses the argument of the defence that Biszku’s trial was politically motivated, adding that in politically motivated trials the sentence is death “as this expert of political trials surely knows”. Communists have never been punished, he writes, but profited instead from the end of their regime by turning into capitalists, and now they are gone. It is impossible to punish them, while “the ghost of Socialism” will never disappear from Hungary. He concludes by remarking that Biszku never expressed any regret and therefore cannot be forgiven.