The government’s homeless ban claims its first victim in Gödöllő
The man was “caught red-handed” by the police while sitting on a bench in Kossuth Lajos Street, reports 444.
“He is well-known here, some locals bring food for him occasionally, he is not a troublesome person at all. He worked as an engineer, but he lost his home. He is in terrible condition”
– described his defendant his public lawyer, Zoltán Varga.
The police officers accused him of living a homeless lifestyle, which he did not deny. When the man said that he does not want to go to a homeless shelter, but would rather stay in Erzsébet Park nearby, they took him to the police department and took him into custody. He was taken to the Regional Court of Gödöllő in handcuffs today.
Zoltan Varga, a lawyer, told 444 that the homeless man tried to explain why he did not want to stay at the shelter home; because, for example, conflicts, fights and theft are regular there.
The Police asked for a 30-day confinement against the man, but the assistant judge (in case of a misdemeanour, assistant judges, who are preparing to become a judge, decide) only warned him, which was accepted by all parties, thus there was no appeal. The man would have to pay a penalty of 20 thousand forints. Although the Police took his belongings temporarily, those were returned at the end of today’s trial.
He promised that he would ask his friends to let him stay and if he does not succeed, he will go to the homeless shelter despite his concerns.
According to Zoltán Varga,
it has not been made clear enough, when his defendant was warned by the police, because, in accordance with the new law, a trial can only be initiated against someone for homelessness, if one has been warned 3 times in 90 days.
The police have warned 27 homeless on October 15th, the day the ban was enacted.
Under the new rule, homelessness is forbidden, meaning that one cannot live on the streets permanently. Those, who break the rule, can be sentenced to community service or even be imprisoned. Authorities are permitted to destroy the belongings of the homeless, for which the state does not have to compensate them.
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