Fidesz MP István Bajkai and Zoltán Lomnici, head of the Human Dignity Council civil group, on Wednesday slammed as “unacceptable” the Romanian supreme court’s rejection of the appeals of two ethnic Hungarians sentenced to prison for an attempted bomb attack in 2015.
István Beke, a local leader of the self-defined radical nationalist Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement (HVIM), and Zoltán Szőcs, the movement’s Transylvanian leader, were each sentenced to five years in prison for what the Romanian authorities saw as an attempt to detonate a home-made explosive device at a parade on Romania’s national holiday on December 1, 2015. The authorities charged them based on intercepted phone conversations and petards found at Beke’s home.
“Transylvania’s native Hungarian minority has been trying to survive in its homeland for a hundred years in the face of oppression and constant intimidation and persecution,” Bajkai and Lomnici said in a statement.
“But in the midst of all the human rights violations, the decision issued by the Romanian supreme court yesterday still counts as a sad milestone.”
They said it had been proven in court that Beke and Szőcs’s convictions had been unfounded and that lawyers had also uncovered “countless serious procedural errors” in the criminal proceedings. But, the statement said, despite these findings, the supreme court made a “political decision”, rather than a legal one. Bajkai and Lomnici said the court’s decision to reject the appeals served to protect the interests of the Romanian secret service and to uphold the earlier convictions, which they said only served to intimidate the ethnic Hungarian community.
Bajkai and Lomnici said they would assist the two Hungarians in their ongoing appeals to the European Court of Human Rights and would exhaust every avenue of legal appeal available in the European Union in connection with the case.