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Suspect beaten to death

April 15th, 2013

Left-liberal columnists describe a case in which a suspect was beaten to death during a police interrogation in a theft case as typical of the insensitive and brutal culture of some precincts.

In Izsák, a small town in Bács-Kiskun County a man accused of stealing a chain saw was beaten to death by two interrogating police officers. He was a Romanian citizen (a Hungarian speaking Roma). The policemen were taken into custody and will remain there awaiting trial. Their superiors, including the County Police Chief have been demoted. Tibor Navracsics, Minister for Public Administration and Justice, asked for the maximum sentence (12 years).

In HVG, a commentator writing under the pen name Nyüzsög (‘the buzz’) mocks the two policemen who not only said the man had simply “fallen off a chair” but filed a complaint against him for violence against a public official (a move turned down by the prosecutor). The author enumerates the injuries the suspect died of – including smashed face and ribs – and recalls a similar case in the same county where another suspect’s eye had to be removed after it was badly damaged during a brutal police investigation. The commentary is written in ironic style, in the name of the policemen. “The suspect, whose origin is of secondary importance, tried to escape justice by dying.”

Gusztáv Megyesi, writing for Népszabadság, quotes the mayor of the town, who said the two young policemen had excellent records and one was about to become a member of TEK (the Anti-Terrorist elite police organization). Megyesi says he is not going to blame the government or the prime minister, then goes on to do exactly that: the government’s notion of a “central power sphere” implies the use of force and disciplinary measures, he suggests. (PM Viktor Orbán has used the term “central power space” since he won the elections in 2010 to describe his strategy of building a stable power structure in which the left and right-wing opposition cancel each other out.)

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