Suspected 1956 war criminal’s appeal postponed
Budapest, January 16 (MTI) – A judicial council has suspended an appeal hearing concerning the case of Bela Biszku, who is suspected of committing war crimes following the 1956 revolution.
Last summer a court of first instance sentenced 92-year-old Biszku to 5 years and 6 months for his role in retaliations after the anti-Soviet revolt of 1956. Biszku was found guilty of war crimes in the form of instigation and complicity to homicide. It was the first time that a Soviet-era leader of the time had been put on trial in Hungary.
The defence submitted an objection on the first day of the trial of second instance on Friday, questioning the impartiality of the Hungarian justice system and claiming that legislation had been tailored in a way that prejudiced Biszku’s case. The defence also claimed tailored legislation on the level of the country’s basic law, making reference to provisions stipulating that war crimes and crimes against humanity do not lapse.
Biszku’s attorney further argued that a political witch hunt had been being conducted against his client.
The attorney said, however, that he did not question the professional integrity of the judicial council’s members.
He said he expected that their appeal would be rejected, adding that it has been aimed at exhausting all legal options in Hungarian justice and preparing next a petition to be submitted to the Strasbourg-based court of human rights.
Another judicial council will rule on the defence’s objection to prejudicial treatment.