A new outrage, this time not so much the behavior of these radical proto-nazi/hungarists (take your pick), but the way the Hungarian judiciary handles cases concerning extreme right-wing elements. The case often ends with an acquittal in the lower court or, if the lower court makes the "mistake" of finding them guilty, on appeal the sentence is reduced to practically nothing. That is what happened to the young man who led the crowd in front of MTV which ended in a bloody battle between the few, inadequately equipped policemen and a determined mob. György Budaházy, who was charged with enciting the crowd to overthrow the government, also got off. The courtroom was filled with sympathizers who draped themselves in the red and white striped flag, the new symbol of Hungarian neo-nazis, and who all through the proceedings sang patriotic songs and waved flags. The judges just sat there and in the name of freedom of speech let this incredible spectacle go on.
And now comes the case of the Guard. The prosecutor’s office of Budapest initiated a case against the Guard because their application for establishing a civic organization didn’t quite jibe with their obvious aims. The courts dragged their heels. Months went by with no word on when the case would be heard. Then came the new minister of justice who, a day after he was sworn in, sent a messsage to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court urging him to speed things up because the Hungarian Guard was making threatening appearances in villages with large Gypsy populations. The Chief Justice’s response was that he could do nothing; the timing depends only on the judge to whom the case is assigned. Then a day later, miracle of miracles, the case that was not supposed to begin before mid-April was brought forward. The date: March 12 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The police had been alerted because on the internet radical groups were busy organizing a demonstration in front of the building. A large contingent of the Hungarian Guard also appeared on the scene. Some of them went into the building, others, in military order, stood in front of the main door. See http://tinyurl.com/2ywbho
Meanwhile, inside the building more and more people gathered waiting to enter the courtroom. Although an official announced that members of the press could go into the room, nothing happened because the guardists blocked the entrance and they wouldn’t move. One of the guardists "filtered" the crowd. When a correspondent of MTI, the official Hungarian news agency, tried to get in, he was told "we are not interested in Tel-Aviv." Beside the newspapermen there were a couple of representatives of a Hungarian Gypsy organization, but the guardists wouldn’t let them in either. No Tel-Aviv, no Gypsy. It looked as if a fist fight was about to break out, but the police intervened at this point. Thus at least the Gypsy leaders managed to get in. Today’s papers were full of the story. Of course, front page news. The picture from inside the courtroom shows that the small room seating only forty people is full of guardists. See the photo on this page: http://tinyurl.com/2xfabh From this I gather that the newspaper accounts are more accurate than the description of the spokesman of the courthouse according to whom there was no scuffle, there were no problems, no pressure, newspapermen could get in without any trouble and at the next hearings there will be no need for police because they want to avoid the appearance of keeping anyone out of the courtroom. The whole thing boggles the mind.