A pro-government commentator finds the light sentence handed down to a former high-ranking Communist leader outrageous, and accuses the court of falsifying history and encouraging delinquency.
In a first instance ruling last Thursday, the Budapest Court found Béla Biszku guilty of war crimes but only indirectly, as an abettor (see BudaPost July 2011 through June 4th 2015). The court ruled that Biszku was responsible for setting up anti-revolutionary police squads after the 1956 revolution, but acquitted him of actually ordering those squads to open fire on civilians. The judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Biszku issued the orders. The 94 year old former Communist leader was sentenced to two years in prison, and the sentence was suspended for three years.
In Magyar Idők, Dávid Megyeri fears that this ‘outageous’ ruling may undermine the rule of law. The pro-government columnist thinks that there is ample evidence of Béla Biszku’s involvement in the deadly reprisals committed by the police squads, and thus by acquitting the former Communist Minister of Interior, the court is complicit in the falsification of history. To make things even worse, the court has sent out the message that even major crimes can go unpunished. This, Megyeri speculates, even goes so far as to encourage similar outrages, in the knowledge that the perpetrators may get off scot-free.