Budapest court gives homebirth midwife suspended prison sentence
Budapest (MTI) – A Budapest district court handed down a sentence of one year in prison suspended for three years to homebirth midwife Agnes Gereb in a non-binding ruling on Wednesday.
The case of Gereb, who is a pioneer of homebirths in Hungary, goes back to 2007, when she was found guilty of professional negligence and was prohibited from practising her profession for three years.
The Budapest district court said in its Wednesday ruling that Gereb had assisted with home births despite the ban imposed on her including a birth in 2009 and two in 2010. The court said Gereb was also guilty of persuading a couple to forge documents.
Gereb was apprehended by police in October 2010 while she was assisting another birth. She was first placed in pre-trial detention. Gereb was sentenced in a binding ruling for two years in a penitentiary in February 2012 and was prohibited from practising her profession for ten years.
She was held under house arrest until February 2014, when it was lifted under a restriction of movement order.
The Municipal Court ordered re-trial of Gereb’s case in March this year. In the meantime she asked for a presidential pardon. President Janos Ader decided in October 2012 that he would make a decision only after a final ruling is made in her case.
Gereb’s lawyer said they appealed against the district court’s ruling.