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Biszku’s trial back to square one

June 3rd, 2015

A conservative commentator is disgusted by the ruling of the Budapest Appeal Court to scrap a five year prison sentence handed down by the first instance court to Béla Biszku, who as a key member of the Communist Party leadership in 1956 was accused of responsibility for the massacre of unarmed demonstrators after the anti-Communist revolt was crushed by the Soviet Union.

On Válasz, Anita Élő says the ruling practically amounts to an acquittal. She deems it pathetic that after a first instance trial that took two years, another year had to elapse before the appeal court declared that the trial had to be restarted from scratch because the first instance sentence contained contradictions and was based on the opinion of an expert whose impartiality was doubtful. Biszku is 93 and would actually not go to jail anyway, she argues. What was at stake was the notion that in addition to the local commanders and the soldiers who pulled the triggers, high ranking party luminaries can and must also be held accountable for the killings of innocent civilians. Élő calls this “victory of the elderly Communist chieftain” humiliating.

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