The Hagyó case continues: The testimony of Éva H.

Although I’m sorry to leave the historical topic of the Hungarian army’s defeat near Voronezh, I have to move on to another sordid affair, albeit something that is happening today.

I have often expressed my firm conviction that most of the trials of former officials are political witch hunts that served Fidesz particularly well before the elections and that still may score points with the voters. One of the biggest fish Fidesz set its sights on was Miklós Hagyó, MSZP deputy mayor of Budapest. The the primary target of Fidesz’s wrath was naturally Ferenc Gyurcsány, but even the foxy head of the Hungarian prosecutor’s office couldn’t find evidence to drag the former prime minister to court. So, they settled for the second string, the government officials in charge of the office that handled state properties in the Sukoró land swap.

I wrote about the Hagyó case last September: “A botched-up show trial in Hungary.” Since then the trial has dragged on, and more and more of the accused are retracting their earlier testimony, claiming that it was given under duress. Only a couple of days ago one of the accused retracted her testimony. And today Éva H., who is named #6 among the 15 accused men and women, also took back her earlier confession of guilt and gave a vivid description of her trials and tribulations during her stay in a Hungarian jail.

Let me start with a description of Éva H.’s testimony as reported by MTI. I am using MTI’s website as a source. The report was filed today at 6:40 p.m. Here we learn that Éva H. accused the investigators of pressuring her to accuse Miklós Hagyó of fraud that cost the Budapest Transit Authority billions. As for the circumstances of her being pressured, MTI’s reporter mentions in his report only that “the accused talked about her testimony and the circumstances under which that testimony was made.” As for particulars, she told the judge that although she was in jail for three months the investigators made no attempt to question her for at least two and a half months. As for intimidation, MTI reports only that one of the policemen who took her to jail told her that it was very possible that her child might end up in a state facility because of her long absence from her family. That was the sum total of MTI’s coverage of the “circumstances” under which her earlier testimony was made.

At the trial there was also a reporter from Népszava who filed a report that appeared on the newspaper’s Internet site at 2:58 p.m. Here we find many new details, some startling. Éva H. claimed that the prosecution referenced several dates in the indictment that preceded her working relationship with Miklós Hagyó. She also said that originally there was no talk of her being remanded but that Mária Szívós, one of Fidesz’s newly appointed members of the Constitutional Court, ruled otherwise. (One must wonder whether there is any connection between the two events.)

Éva H. claimed that “because of [her] religion there was a weekly inspection of her cell … they made [negative] remarks about her books, they poured garbage in the middle of the cell that included [her] personal belongings and told [her]: ‘clean it up, Jew!'” Apparently they told her that if her rabbi keeps visiting her they will not be able to save her from “falling out of her bed and hurting herself.” She also claimed that the doctors in the jail tried to drug her. She talked about Rivotril, a drug used primarily for the control of epilepsy but also effective as a sedative. According to Éva H. there were times when it was 59°C  (130°F) in the 6x6m cell housing four women.

bilincs

She was taken to her interrogation sessions in irons as if she were a murderer. These shackles caused sores on her arms and legs. Once she actually fell and hit her head on the curb. When she complained to the policeman in charge, he told her to shut up because otherwise he will say that Éva H. attacked him and in that case he is allowed to shoot her. During her three months in jail she lost 26 kilograms.

At the end of her testimony Éva H. read the last letter of her since deceased father that he wrote to her while she was in jail. “A number of the accused and their lawyers cried.” The lawyer for Éva H. is Péter Bárándy, former minister of justice and one of the founding members of Gordon Bajnai’s Haza és Haladás (Country and Progress).

Two reporters and two radically different reports on the same testimony.

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nyaripal
Guest

Terrible, shamefull record of Hungarian ‘justice’.

Presumably she was on remand during her time in jail? In the UK remand prisoners are treated quite differently from convicted ones (they can wear their own clothes, have food sent in, etc – and would never be shackled) – I take it the situation isn’t the same in Hungary?

Member

The Rakosi era revisited Hungary with the current government. What a shame. 24 years after Hungary had a chance to reborn, it is back 34 years prior to those events. Since Fidesz took power Hungarian clocks are ticking backward with huge speed. I am not sure who and when will be able to bring Hungary “back to the future”.

Guest

London Calling!

Elizabeth Fry was a Quaker prison reformer who made English prisons more humane.

She is obviously needed in Hungary – were she still alive.

It is clear that there is institutionalised ante-Semitism in Hungary’s jails – just as there is in the ruling classes.

If prison warders and the police are racist and ante-Semitic (and they are) then Hungary is a truly nasty society – one of the reasons that some youngsters have given for wanting to leave.

(In England the police were found to be institutionally racist after the death of a young black trainee-architect student, Stephen Lawrence, ruthlessly murdered by racist thugs. The police have only recently expunged it from the system – hopefully.)

What happened to Éva H was abhorrent.

I only hope that her deceased father’s letter to her can be published somewhere? It should be in the public domain so it can be published with her permission.

Any chance to publish it on here Eva?

Regards

Charlie

Minusio
Guest

Mainly we thought, Orbán would destroy his opponents by administrative and financial means, but not by open violence as the nazis did. But these venedetta cases that end up in “botched-up show trial(s) in Hungary” show that here and there the regime is crossing the red line. – That doesn’t bode well for an unbloody ending of Orbán himself – when his day has come. His violent deeds will come home to roost.

Petofi1
Guest

In 1601, a member of the Earl of Essex’s group hired Shakespeare’s troupe to put on Richard II with the forbidden deposition scene reinstated, in order to inspire Londoners to join Essex against Elizabeth.

This came to mind tonight because the National Geographic Channel just aired a piece on Hitler’s climb to power. It is truly sickening to see how closely Orban has followed, and instituted steps that Hitler and the nazis took back in the early 1930s. Moreover, i got a gut
feeling that the show’s appearance at this time is NOT coincidental.

Orban’s rape of modern society in Hungary is sickening.

The courage of Eva H. is hearening.

But where is the historical champion of morality and ethics in today’s world: where is the voice
of the Catholic Church? Where’s the Pope’s intervention?

gdfxx
Guest

This really reminds me of the “trials” in the nineteen fifties. Same prosecutorial methods, same prison conditions. Kafka couldn’t write it better…

lutra lutra
Guest

Fortunately we don’t live in the Rákosi era and there are organisations and lawvers who can make life very difficult for those who abuse their authority. Thank you, Dr Balogh, for unturning this particulat stone.

Member
Guest

lutra lutra: “there are organisations and lawvers who can make life very difficult for those who abuse their authority”

Please let us know who they are.

Ron
Guest

O/T The Worldbank issued it half yearly report (below report PDF alert ) http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2013/01/16/000350881_20130116132042/Rendered/PDF/NonAsciiFileName0.pdf

A quick description: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/world-bank-cuts-growth-forecasts-for-emerging-europe-20130117-00051#.UPk-Fx1Ig_s

A few interesting points for Hungary:
Small growth 0.4% in 2013, 2012 shrinkage.
No expectation of Direct Foreign Investment

Furthermore, and I did not know about this. On page 46 of the Worldbank report (bottom part) Hungary passed an law on Credit rating The report says: Hungary also improved access to credit information by passing its first credit bureau law mandating the creation of a database with positive credit information on individuals.

Question who is controlling this? And is it only positive?.

I believe it should be mainly negative. Who is black listed and who is not. Basically, I am happy to see this, but I am worried about the lack on information on it. This very much result in lower credit risk level. In other words, it may reduce the interest lending rate.

benhawking
Guest

Reblogged this on The Hagyó Case and commented:
Hungarian Spectrum and the BKV Hearing from January 17th: More Racism in Hungary

Zebulon
Guest
Well, you should have staged a revolution, as one József Antall said. Fidesz has been very strategic from the very beginnning (1990!): to take over (A) the prosecution and the (B) security services, so that even if Fidesz is not in governmental power, they could control a lot of influential people and control criminal trials (the preparations and trial last most, and those are the most important parts of the proceedings, not the verdict, by which time noone cares about the original story any more). [Secondarily the courts and the constitutional court very also very important.] But the first two are of paramolunt importance. I don’t know if you remember 2010-11? MSZP was doing and saying nothing, even in the face of clear injustice (while the dismantling of the constitution took place). It was mostly the foreign media and politicians which stood up, not the sedated MSZP. The reason: MSZP was petrified that Fidesz would send the prosecution to their top people. The basis would have been unimportant (see the completely bogus philosophers’ case baselessly accusing “Ágnes Heller and Co.” of grand larceny), but the prosecution could come, you made a perp walk, sat in pre-rial denetion for 6 months… Read more »
Kingfisher
Guest

Isn’t it also possible that this woman’s defence lawyer is exaggerating. Which is what defense lawyers are paid to do. Didn’t Bárándy defend the Whisky Thief – I’ve read his defense speech and given that it was an open and shut case, he was making the most amazing claims as to his client’s innocence. And I don’t fault him for that, that is his job (possibly it was his father who was Ambrus’s defence lawyer,, but that doesn’t alter the point).

Hagyó is a six-cylinder gangster and it is notable that MSZP has hardly stood by him.

Member

Kingfisher :
Isn’t it also possible that this woman’s defence lawyer is exaggerating. Which is what defense lawyers are paid to do..

Right. Losing 60 pounds and being held without hearing for 50 days. It’s must be some kind of magic diet, don’t you think?

Member

Kingfisher :
Isn’t it also possible that this woman’s defence lawyer is exaggerating. Which is what defense lawyers are paid to do. Didn’t Bárándy defend the Whisky Thief – I’ve read his defense speech and given that it was an open and shut case, he was making the most amazing claims as to his client’s innocence. And I don’t fault him for that, that is his job (possibly it was his father who was Ambrus’s defence lawyer,, but that doesn’t alter the point).
Hagyó is a six-cylinder gangster and it is notable that MSZP has hardly stood by him.

THis not the whisky thief. THis a highly reputable woman. You mistaking her with Annamaria Szalay, who’s biggest achievement before joyning the Orban cult-governemnt is the publishing of porn publications.
Are you suggesting it is stunt? She is heck of an actress for loosing so much weight to get the part.

Ron
Guest

Kingfisher :

Hagyó is a six-cylinder gangster and it is notable that MSZP has hardly stood by him.

Do you know what the six-cylinder gangster means? According to me it was relating to the Gestapo. But I may be wrong.

lacigol
Guest

Actually György Magyar was the Whisky Robber’s defense lawyer, this case built Magyar’s carrier. Magyar’s style is completely different from that of Bárándy (I guess you meant Péter, the one time minister of justice, who is a defense attorney too).

Minusio
Guest

I guess there are also “hate trolls”. Don’t feed them.

Jano
Guest

” it is notable that MSZP has hardly stood by him. ”

Very recently, Ildikó Lendvai said something in this direction in an interview. I’m can give you that the prosecutors office was under Fidesz influence but Hagyó’s weight loss happened mostly the Bajnai government, and the police was run by MSZP appointee’s, so unless they were fine with him being tortured (by any sense of the word) in prison, I’m puzzled by how this could have happened. Or if it did, then what changed suddenly now when Fidesz is actually on government?

Even though I have no problem believing that the Fidesz government might resort to these sorts of methods, this case is far from clear. So far we know that there are witnesses who sometimes say this and sometimes that. Hope to see some evidence more than just testimonies.

Kingfisher
Guest

@Ron, “six-cylinder” is a reference to a motor engine of some considerable power. I don’t know if you are familiar with John Le Carré’s Tinker Tailor novel (and film, TV series) but in it, Connie Sachs memorably refers to Polyakov as a “six-cylinder Karla-trained hood.” And he is.

@Jano, I agree pretty much with your assessment. Hopefully there will be more evidence than testimonies.

Ron
Guest

Kingfisher :
@Ron, “six-cylinder” is a reference to a motor engine of some considerable power. I don’t know if you are familiar with John Le Carré’s Tinker Tailor novel (and film, TV series) but in it, Connie Sachs memorably refers to Polyakov as a “six-cylinder Karla-trained hood.” And he is.
@Jano, I agree pretty much with your assessment. Hopefully there will be more evidence than testimonies.

The six-cylinder I know about is the Mercedes 260D, which had a six cylinders and was used exclusively by Gestapo and SS. The four cylinder was used by civilians. http://strangevehicles.greyfalcon.us/MERCEDES%20260D.htm

Minusio
Guest

@ Ron. All of this is off-topic – and not totally correct. Four-cylinder diesel Mercedes cars were used as taxis and also by the Gestapo and the SS. Production ended in 1940. The six- cylinder diesels were used only in trucks because their vibrations broke the chassis of passenger cars.

Ron
Guest

Sorry OT Three extreme right persons were arrested and subsequently sentenced, due to the fact that they operated a website (servers in the USA) and promoted/exalted nazi ideology.

Perhaps we should ask them to do the same with kuruc website.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/423328/20130111/austrian-far-right-gottfried-kuessel-sentenced-jail.htm

gdfxx
Guest
Zebulon : I don’t know if you remember 2010-11? MSZP was doing and saying nothing, even in the face of clear injustice (while the dismantling of the constitution took place). It was mostly the foreign media and politicians which stood up, not the sedated MSZP. The reason: MSZP was petrified that Fidesz would send the prosecution to their top people. The basis would have been unimportant (see the completely bogus philosophers’ case baselessly accusing “Ágnes Heller and Co.” of grand larceny), but the prosecution could come, you made a perp walk, sat in pre-rial denetion for 6 months and then in 6-10 years, you could get acquitted. Fidesz, through its ownership of the prosecution (and believe me, they made sure that any people they hired in the last many years would completely follow Fidesz orders even from ten years) effectively prevented any opposition for about one and a half years. This is a very good description of a police state, where the government (or opposition) controlled prosecution is terrorizing everyone else. Laws do not matter, human rights do not matter. There is no oversight. People (dangerous ones, like philosophers, for example) can be locked up for many months without any… Read more »
gardonista
Guest

gdfxx :

This is a very good description of a police state, where the government (or opposition) controlled prosecution is terrorizing everyone else. Laws do not matter, human rights do not matter. There is no oversight. People (dangerous ones, like philosophers, for example) can be locked up for many months without any reason whatsoever.
This is not Europe, this is not Asia, this is some alien place in today’s world.

Love and hatred know no bounds. European or Asians or Africans are no more or less capable of terrorizing than anyone else. It is very human, unfortunately, and deserves eternal vigilance.

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