Hungarian Opinion: US Ambassador Receives Two Judges

  • 3 Nov 2022 5:52 AM
  • BudaPost
Hungarian Opinion: US Ambassador Receives Two Judges
Pro-government outlets urge the two judges to resign, as they interpret their visit to the US Embassy as a political act. A liberal outlet quotes arguments to the contrary.

In a tweet last week, US Ambassador David Pressman thanked Judges Csaba Vasvári and Tamás Matusik, members of the National Judicial Council, “for the informative discussion about the Council’s critical role in Hungary’s judicial system”. 

Origo888 and TV2  find the meeting incompatible with the independence of the judiciary and demand that both judges resign from their jobs. The National Judicial Council has issued a statement, robustly defending the judges.

In Magyar Nemzet, László Néző  condemns the two judges, and asks who authorised them to interact with the Ambassador. Two important representatives of the judiciary are not entitled to “collaborate with the ambassador of a foreign country”, he argues, “because a foreign diplomat, even of a country which, in theory, is our ally, will always represent his own country’s interests”.

Néző suggests ironically that they should find new jobs with NGOs like Amnesty International, Open Society and the like – or leave for the United States.

The Magyar Narancs website doubts whether meeting the US ambassador should be considered a political deed. The author quotes a communique by the National Judicial Council which rejects “disturbing and blatantly propagandistic statements in the press”, recalling earlier meetings by leading officials of the judiciary with previous US ambassadors. In the same piece, the liberal website quotes a statement by the President of the Kúria (Supreme Court), András Zs. Varga, himself a member of the Council of the Judiciary, who is outraged by the “attempt by the Council to gloss over the scandalous behaviour of the two judges by issuing an offensive communique”.

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