A man travelled at least 760 times without a ticket in Hungary between September 2011 and August 2016 on the railway line of Nagykáta-Budapest. He caused an 11,000,000 HUF (37,081 USD) financial loss to MÁV (Hungarian State Railways).
According to szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu, he was acquitted at court because the jury believes that this cannot be considered a crime. Based on the announcement of the court of justice on 24 October, this particular man was known among ticket inspectors – in most cases, they knew that he did not have a ticket.
Every single time he was caught, he cooperated – gave his ID, filled in and signed the documents, promising that he would pay the fines later. He never did, though…
Ticket inspectors could not get him off the train because, according to the law, in the cases when passengers provide their personal details and cooperate, their journey is considered to be lawful – they gain the right to reach their intended destination because of their behaviour.
At the first stage of his trial, the passenger admitted his crime and gave up his right to a full legal trial. He has already been convicted before for causing financial damage by fraud and adulteration of public documents – the execution of the penalty was suspended then. The passenger repeatedly committed this crime under the effect of the suspended penalty.
The Budapest-Capital Regional Court as the second-degree court has announced that what this man did cannot be considered as fraud. Failing to purchase falls into no legal category of crime – it only breaks the conditions of transportation based on the business contract of MÁV. This is the reason why the passenger was acquitted of the continuously committed crime prosecution.
Based on the announcement of MÁV, the railway company does not give up on the 11,000,000 HUF compensation, Index reports. According to them, the verdict does not deny the equity of their demand, it is only about the legal category of crime.
You can further read about another scandalous issue of MÁV passengers with an effective solution here. You can also read about the problems with the working mechanisms of the Hungarian State Railways here.