Budapest, June 1 (MTI) – A municipal appeals court on Monday annulled a lower court ruling in the case of Bela Biszku, Hungary’s interior minister in communist times, for the alleged role he played in the retaliation that followed the anti-Soviet uprising in 1956 and ordered new proceedings.
The court ruled that Biszku’s case should be tried by a new judicial council.
Last year, a primary court sentenced Biszku to five years and six months imprisonment for war crimes in the form of instigation and complicity to homicide in a non-binding ruling.
Both the now 94-year old defendant, who pleaded not guilty, and the prosecutor appealed the sentence.
Biszku was interior minister between 1957 and 1961. The indictment said in the immediate aftermath of the thwarted 1956 revolution Biszku was a member of the Temporary Executive Committee, a central steering body of the then newly formed Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (MSZMP). The Committee had set up a special police force, directly controlled by its members, which was then responsible for firing shots at the public, including unarmed protesters, in several parts of Hungary.
It is the first time that a Soviet-era leader of the time has been put on trial in Hungary.