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Racist serial killers face verdict

July 25th, 2013

A liberal observer complains that the trial of the far-right gunmen who killed six innocent Roma has not had an edifying impact on the public perception of the Roma issue.

In Népszabadság, liberal writer András B. Vágvölgyi, who has closely followed the trial of the four men accused of carrying out the anti-Gypsy serial killings in 2008-2009, believes the court should also have been a morality classroom, but it has not fulfilled that social and moral function so far.  Sympathy towards deprived social groups is thin, and segregation as well as stigmatisation are slowly becoming commonplace, he writes, quoting a human rights lawyer representing the families of the victims. Vágvölgyi also remarks that the background of the murderous attacks has not become any clearer as a result of the investigation. It is still unclear, he writes, whom the murderers were getting help and/or directions from. The secret services had information about their extremist and racist attitudes, and even knew they were about to acquire weapons, and yet they stopped tapping the phone of a leading group member. But although many details are still unclear, a first instance verdict is expected in early August. If not, the four defendants must be released (and placed under house arrest) as they have been kept under preliminary arrest for four years. If they are found guilty, three of them will certainly be condemned to life imprisonment, while the fourth, whom the others used as their driver on two out of the eight occasions and who co-operated with the inquiry, can probably expect a 15 year sentence.

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