I already noted that a political witch hunt was being prepared by Fidesz way before the elections. For years they have been talking about the criminal politicians who by their wrong political and economic decisions brought ruin to the country. Naturally, if a politician is engaged in illegal, criminal activities he should be punished like any other mortal. But "political crime" is a non-existent category. If a political party and its leaders in power make bad decisions, they will be punished by the electorate. They will not be re-elected. But otherwise, talking about political crimes in the sense the new Hungarian government is talking about them is nonsense.
Three Fidesz politicians and a parliamentary sub-committee are entrusted with uncovering their political opponents' alleged crimes. They at least are ostensibly looking for criminal behavior, though they are not getting very far. Yet the sub-committee's minutes reveal that the Fidesz-Jobbik politicians who run it already know what the outcome of the investigation will be. They are not even hiding their preconceived ideas. In Hungarian a "show trial" is called "koncepciós per" because the conception of the outcome is already given. In this case the formula is: Ferenc Gyurcsány instructed the police to commit illegal acts at the time of the siege of the headquarters of the Hungarian public television station and later, throughout the disturbances in September and October.
As I mentioned earlier, MSZP refused to participate in the work of the sub-committee. After reading the minutes, I think they made the right decision. First of all, as I wrote earlier, on the committee one finds people who in one way or another were involved with the events. For example, Zoltán Balog (Fidesz) who along with Krisztina Morvai (Jobbik) wrote a one-sided report of those events entirely from the point of view of the mob and the so-called peaceful demonstrators, the victims as they are called. Tamás Gaudi-Nagy (Jobbik) is the lawyer of one of the participants in the disturbances who is also the leader of a terrorist group called Arrows of Hungarians; Gaudi-Nagy's client is currently in jail. The chairman, Gergely Gulyás, at the very first meeting praised these members of the committee who "deserve special credit" because of their involvement in the events. Balog because of his other duties couldn't continue to participate in the proceedings and in place of him came Máriusz Révész, also a participant in the events. He was allegedly beaten by the police on October 23, 2006. (I should mention that Révész sued the Hungarian police force but a few days ago the two policemen who were accused of witnessing his beating and doing nothing to prevent it were acquitted because there was no proof of their being on the scene. Yesterday Révész dropped the charges altogether, most likely because it became clear to him that he will not be able to prove his case.)
So, the people who were the champions of one side deserve special credit because "they managed to partially uncover the details of the affair." Good beginning. Balog, who was present at the first meeting, specifically mentioned the importance of the report of the Civil Jogász Bizottság (Civil Legal Committee) headed and written by Krisztina Morvai as a "decisive document" and a "source book." In passing he mentioned the report of the Gönczöl Committee which in his opinion is pretty useless because "in it one finds exactly the opposite of the truth." Surely, an interesting way of starting an investigation. It is clear that Balog at least has a preconception and that for him the committee's work is a charade or worse.
Mária Wittner (Fidesz) is convinced that Ferenc Gyurcsány gave orders and that in addition there was a huge government conspiracy. She quite openly informed her fellow politicians that she was certain that the government wanted to have a few policemen die. But the plan failed because the "mob" behaved like decent men who actually saved the policemen caught in a burning vehicle. The government planned to declare a state of emergency but the whole plan collapsed due to the big-hearted "revolutionaries." A perfectly open-minded member of an investigative committee. Mária Wittner is the only 1956 "revolutionary" in the Hungarian parliament who as a young woman fought on the streets. Originally she was condemned to death, a sentence which was later commuted to life. Her present political views are closer to Jobbik's than Fidesz's.
Krisztina Morvai (Jobbik EP member) is officially not a member of the committee, but according to house rules she has the right to participate in the sub-committee's discussions. Perhaps she was the one who most openly admitted that a mock show trial is under way. "I think it would be useful to state that the final result of the work of this committee should be such as to verify our hypothesis that the period between 2002 and 2010 was a time of a trampling on human rights." One cannot be clearer. It seems that our learned professor of law doesn't think that there is anything wrong here. She doesn't seem to realize that the words she uttered hark back to the show trials of the Rákosi and early Kádár periods.
Close to the end of the meeting the "conspirators" hatched the details of the hearings. Balog suggested that Ferenc Gyurcsány should be perhaps the first to be called in: "We must make him sit down and ask him ten simple questions … in a very confrontational manner, in such a way that it would be very effective." Then "a victim would be able to tell in three minutes what happened to him. This–and this sounds ugly right now–can be considered a theatrical performance, but it is very important that we present all this to that part of the population whose attitude is negative on this question." A quick translation: a lot of people think that there was a ferocious mob and that the police did what they had to, here and there making a few mistakes.
Mária Wittner is not far behind: "I also think that this is a good idea. The chief guilty one must be dealt with first…. To confront him with a fait accompli." After that is anyone suprised that Ferenc Gyurcsány refused to appear before the sub-committee?