Judiciary crisis

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Present-day Hungary is the direct heir to the Communist dictatorship and Socialism, as well as the chaos that lasted for almost twenty years after the regime change.

The judiciary system has been revamped along liberal lines and logic, leaving one of the most powerful castes to rule undisturbed in a world of their own. The ultra-liberal practice grafted onto the inherited Socialist system continues to damage an already frail social consensus at every turn.

One of the most emblematic cases is the slaying of Romanian handball player Marian Cozma that happened in the central Hungarian city of Veszprém on February 8, 2009.

We recently reported that third-degree defendant István Sztojka (serving a 13 years, 10 months sentence) has been released on probation by the penitentiary group of the Szombathely court. The leader of this group is none other than Sándor Szabó. When asked by us about the case, he said he has no knowledge of it as he was on vacation at the time. This is at least curious given the national notoriety of the case.

But, more to the point, the very same Sándor Szabó is also the vice-president of the National Council of Judges (OBT) and soon to be its president. He is also one of the most vehement critics of the Orbán-government, accusing it of attempting to set up a system of party judges. Opposition media has immediately jumped to the defence of Szabó – ignoring the obvious fact that he could not conceivably have been unaware of the release.

In another glaring irregularity, his being part of the OBT is in itself in breach of the rules. He has already been a member of the OBT between 1990-1994 and the OBT charter clearly states that no one can be nominated for the body for more than one term.

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