Budapest, May 8 (MTI) – The Municipal Court of Appeal on Friday upheld first instance rulings in the case of Hungary’s notorious Roma murders.

The verdicts were real life prison sentences in three cases and 13 years in prison in a fourth.

The life sentences were handed down by a Budapest court to Arpad Kiss, Istvan Kiss and Zsolt Peto, the three main defendants. The court sentenced the fourth defendant, Istvan Csontos, to 13 years in prison.

The Kiss brothers and Peto stood accused of committing nine attacks against Roma families living on the outskirts of small, rural villages in central and eastern Hungary between July 2008 and August 2009. Csontos participated in the last two attacks as a getaway driver. Six people died in the attacks, including a five-year-old boy, while five others suffered critical injuries.

The Municipal Court’s non-binding decision can be appealed in the supreme court, the Kuria, in the case of the three chief defendants, the presiding judge said.

He said complaints made by the defence that procedural rules had been broken were largely “groundless” and therefore the previous lower court procedure should not be nullified or reordered.


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