Opposition Files Lawsuit to Find Out Who Is Pulling the Strings in Background of Presidential Pardon Scandal in Hungary

  • 16 Feb 2024 8:12 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Opposition Files Lawsuit to Find Out Who Is Pulling the Strings in Background of Presidential Pardon Scandal in Hungary
The opposition Democratic Coalition will submit a public-interest data request and file a lawsuit asking for access to documents in connection with the clemency case of the former deputy head of the Bicske children’s home, Olga Kálmán, the spokesperson of the party’s parliamentary group, said, adding that people had a right to know “how the accomplice of the paedophile head of the children’s home” could have been pardoned.

Who submitted the pardon application, “who pushed it through Katalin Novák and Judit Varga”, who is moving the strings in the background, the opposition MP asked.

Donáth Demands Answers from Those 'Actually Responsible' for Presidential Pardon Affair

Anna Donáth, leader of opposition Momentum, demanded answers from “those who are actually responsible” for the affair around a presidential pardon granted to the deputy director of a children’s home who was found complicit in child abuse, at a demonstration in Budapest.

Addressing protesters in front of the Castle District premises of the Prime Minister’s Office, Donáth said “the system has failed from a moral standpoint”, accusing the government of ignoring the protection of children.

She said no responsibility had been taken in connection with the presidential pardon, adding that what had been done “is a sin, rather than a mistake”. She called for demonstrations to be held “until those actually responsible take responsibility” and until an explanation was given and the victims received an apology.

Transtibiscan Reformed Church District Bishop Asks Balog to Resign

Károly Fekete, Bishop of the Transtibiscan Reformed Church District, asked Zoltán Balog to resign as president of the church’s Synod.

Balog on Tuesday apologised for having supported a presidential pardon granted to the deputy director of a children’s home who was found complicit in child abuse.

He said a meeting of the church’s officials had been attended by four-fifths of the officials and ended in a secret vote where 86% of those present expressed support for him.

Fekete said in a statement on Wednesday that he had asked Balog at the meeting, “with a theologically-based argument”, to reconsider his decision and resign as president of the Synod in view of the situation.

The majority of the deacons and chief elders present at the meeting gave a vote of confidence to Balog, who released a video message about the outcome of the vote, Fekete said, noting that he and Balog had spoken again on Wednesday.

“With all due respect to the outcome of the vote of confidence, today I once again suggested to Bishop Balog that he reconsider and resign from his position as synod president,” Fekete said, adding that he trusted that “keeping the unity of our church in mind, and consulting with the members of the Presidency Council, he will be willing to do so”.

He asked the members of the church communities and pastors to be patient until a decision is made.

The Presidium of the Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary, the four bishops and the three chief elders present did not take part in Tuesday’s vote of confidence held in respect of Reformed Church Bishop Zoltán Balog, the president of the church’s Synod, Dániel Pásztor, the Synod’s vice president, has said.

In contrast with press reports, the bishop of the Cistibiscan District said in a statement that he had not taken a position “on whether Zoltán Balog should stay or go at the conference preceding the meeting of the deans and the chief elders.” “I will acknowledge and support the decisions of the president of the Synod in this situation, whatever they may be,” Pásztor said.

When Budapest Mayor was asked about the case of a children’s home in Bicske which has been embroiled in a child-abuse scandal, Karácsony said he had ordered an internal investigation regarding the role of the previous Fidesz city administration in connection with the home which operated in the capital until 2013. 

He said the Budapest municipality had received “a very serious” report in 2011 about events which were “covered up” by the city’s administration at the time. 

Karácsony accused the metropolitan leadership of having failed to investigate reports concerning child-abuse allegations at the time, adding that this had been a “serious omission”. 

He also accused the administration of having “misled” the city’s assembly representatives, insisting that its leaders had known about “very serious doubts” regarding the head of the orphanage.

MTI Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák

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