Fidesz advertisement with Hagyó in the background
On the May 5th, 2012, Thomas O. Melia who is the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs gave an interview to the Hungarian TV channel, ATV, and he said that the media and jurisdiction situations are solicitous. The Freedom House relegated Hungary from the free category to the restricted free. The attitude of the Fidesz was well represented by Deutsch Tamás, a member of the European Parliament, on his official Twitter page. He wrote about the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs, "Who the fuck is Thomas O. Melia?” When asked by a journalist about his comment he answered that his response was funny. (source: [forrás: „Szabad szemmel” – ATV, 2012. május 6.]
In the meantime, Prime Minister Orbán Viktor gave an interview to The Washington Post. Here are the details:
The Washington Post: I would say outside observers are worried about the way your country seems to be going and that there seems to be no representation of anything except your point of view. The head of the Media Council is a Fidesz party member and a friend of yours. The head of the National Judicial Office is a friend of yours.
Orbán Viktor: Let’s separate the two issues. The Media Council members are elected by the parliament.
WP: But they are all from your party.
OV: That is not true. In the previous system, delegates were based on party background. Therefore we decided not to have party representation, and only those persons could be members of the council who are supported by the parliament.
WP: Isn’t the head of the Media Council, Annamária Szalai, a member of Fidesz?
OV: Yes, she is. She was a member of our caucus. What is the problem with that? [source: [forrás: „An interview with Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary” – Washington Post, 2012. április 6.]
In my summary I present the current operations in practice of the Hungarian judiciary which have been righteously attacked so much because of their actions with the Hagyó case. I find it important to point out that one cannot understand the proceedings against Hagyó Miklós and his partners when only analyzing the legal process. The character assassination and persecution executed by the media would not have happened without the support of political powers.
II. Hagyó Miklós
Hagyó Miklós reached the top of the Hungarian political life as a young comet. His political career started in 1998, at age 31, when he joined the Hungarian Socialist Party. At the time he was an entrepreneur and an already wealthy man. In 2002 he entered into the Parliament from the national list of MSZP, where he was active in the environment and the foreign affairs committees. In 2006, he was the 12th position on the list of Budapest MSZP, so he gained another electoral mandate. In the 2006 elections he entered the Budapest Local Government from the 6th position on the list of MSZP Budapest, where he was elected Deputy Mayor by the MSZP-SZDSZ coalition and Mayor Demszky Gábor. His tasks included supervision of the Budapest Transport Company (BKV). Hagyó also worked as President of the charitable branch of the party.
III. History of The Budapest Public Transport Company Case (“BKV” case)
The rapidly successful political career of Hagyó Miklós hit a dramatic road block in 2009 when the first “Severance Pay” scandal was revealed at Budapest Public Transport Company which he supervised.
“Despite receiving about one hundred million forint as a severance pay, with Premium, from the Budapest Transport Company in March of last year, Mrs. Szalai Szilágyi Eleonóra, who was the Human Resource Manager for the company, is still employed by them,” was announced by the daily Magyar Nemzet in its article "After Severance Pay BKV-Leader is Still Working There.” The daily Magyar Nemzet's political and economic histories are related to the biggest contemporary opposing party, Fidesz, now ruling the Parliament with two-thirds majority.
After the scandal Hagyó Miklós suffered the political consequences. He resigned from the supervision of Budapest Public Transport Company on August 31st, 2009, and he resigned from the Deputy Mayor position on the 20th of November 2009. The supervision of Budapest Public Transport Company was a common task of Hagyó Miklós and SZDSZ, a coalition partner of the MSZP, delegate Ikvai Szabó Imre, who did not resign. It is important to note that Hagyó Miklós did not have instruction-giving or decision-making power at the Budapest Public Transport Company; he served as a consultant. As a result of the highly publicized BKV case and the investigation of the putative criminal activities, Mrs. Szalai Szilágyi Eleonóra was arrested on the 7th of January 2010, and she was placed in preliminary detention on 9th of January 2010. She is suspected of committing large-scale fraudulence. At this time official information has not been revealed regarding the involvement of Hagyó Miklós in a criminal procedure, but the right-side media - led by the daily Magyar Nemzet and HírTV - and the Fidesz party have suggested this. Németh Szilárd, member of the Fidesz Budapest faction, informed the Hungarian News Agency that he contacted the public prosecutor in the severance pay case. “Fidesz requests from Deputy Mayor Hagyó Miklós to make public all of the severance pay issues,” the Fidesz’s politician warned Hagyó. (source: [forrás: „BKV-s végkielégítés: a legfőbb ügyészhez fordul a Fidesz” – hvg.hu, 2009. július 29.]
IV. NOKIA – BOX
The Budapest Public Transport Company case became known as the Hagyó case in the media and in the political talk when Balogh Zsolt, CEO of Budapest Public Transport Company, started his declaration tour in the right-side press. At that time a Nokia Box became an icon of political corruption. In his interviews to the daily Magyar Nemzet on the 6th of March 2010 and to HírTV on the 8th of March 2010, Balogh stated that he passed all together 70 million forints to Hagyó Miklós, of which 15 million forints were given to Hagyó personally and literally in a Nokia Box. [sources: „Nokia-dobozban adtam át a pénzt Hagyónak” – mno.hu, 2010. március 6. – mno.hu, 2010. március 6. – mno.hu, 6 March 2010 and „HírTV – Kontraszt, Balogh Zsolt interjú” – HírTV, 8 March 2010]
Balogh Zsolt’s credibility became more and more doubtful when the details of the case files were publicized. The daily Népszava compared Balogh’s statements in the press and his leaked testimony from the investigation authority. (Source: [kiszivárgott vallomások forrása: Mikileaks – index.hu]). The analysis revealed that Balogh continuously said different stories about the conditions of the professedly transferred corruption money and the origin of the money. It speaks volumes that Balogh only made statements to the right-side media.
In his first testimony on the subject Balogh stated that he received the money from Lazarovics Márk, the head of Synergon Information Systems, in a parking garage of the City Hall. Before that, in a café, Lazarovics showed Balogh the Nokia Box, and later in the City Hall building Zsolt gave it to Hagyó Miklós who did not look into the box. In a different testimony Balogh recalled that in the café Lazarovics just mentioned that the Nokia box was under the table, but Lazarovics did not show it to him. In this version the handing of the box did not happen in the City Hall parking garage, but next to the café in Lazarovics’s Audi A8. The next time when Balogh recalled again that he handed over the money to Hagyó Miklós, but in this version he said that Hagyó looked into the box, and he saw that it was full of banknotes. Another, more significant, question is the origin of the money and the background of a contract, which was made with an informatics company. Balogh stated in his first testimony that he signed the contract with the company because of pressure from Hagyó. Later he remembered that this contract was among many of which he had signed. As a matter of fact Balogh specified, in this version that he remembered the “arm-twisting” because of another case, Hagyó used to screw his neck in a way that he felt was violent. Regarding the origin of the money, Balogh told to the Magyar Nemzet that the amount was determined by the leaders of the Budapest Public Transport Company, who were close to Hagyó. This contradicts the “Lazarovics-informatics company” story that he said before in his testimony. (Source: [forrás: „Kérdések a Nokia-doboz körül” – Népszava, 2012. január 30.]
V. Parliamentary and Local Government Elections
In the first round of the Hungarian parliamentary elections were held on the 11th of April 2010, which ended with the two-thirds majority vote necessary for a Fidesz victory, ensuring eight years of Fidesz government and a dramatic defeat for MSZP after the second round. During the campaign, the Fidesz politicians focused their political talk on Hagyó Miklós, much of which involved the incriminating statements from Balogh Zsolt.
Hagyó Miklós could have known from the published press that sooner or later he would be prosecuted. The news published by the right-side media suggested that Hagyó used his power of immunity and wanted to leave the country. This implication was denied until the end by the accused. Furthermore, on the 11th of May 2010 Hagyó employed his lawyer to deliver a hand-written letter expressing his residency and his availability to the colonel of the Budapest Police Office, Berzsenyi Mihály. In addition, Hagyó indicated his willingness to cooperate with the investigating authorities.
On the 14th of May 2010 the new Parliament was formed. As regulation dictates, when the new MPs were sworn into office the previous MPs lost their mandate and their immunity. While the Hungarian Public Television aired a live broadcast of this ceremony, police officers were waiting in front of Hagyó’s house. Moments after losing his mandate and immunity, he was escorted by the police to the police station. After a suspected interrogation he was arrested. He was accused, with two of his colleges who were arrested the same day, of committing fraudulent breach of trust and involvement in a criminal organization (source: [forrás: „Őrizetbe vették Hagyó Miklóst és két társát” – MTI, 2010. május 14.])
It is important to note that while the Nokia Box confession became a popular media topic at the end of the campaign, the imputation in the case occurred only in late August. The local government was elected on the 3rd of October 2010, so the subject of the campaign could be Hagyó and the Budapest Public Transport Company. This suggests that the investigating authorities and the right-side media did their work according to the schedule of the Fidesz campaign.
One particular HírTV broadcast exemplifies well the role of Hagyó Miklós in the Fidesz campaign. The program, which aired on the 19th of September 2010, was an interview with the president of MSZP, Mesterházy Attila. During the introduction of the interview you can see Hagyó Miklós in handcuffs and leg irons. [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejtVabeHcx4]
VI. Mária Szívós
Pest Central District Court placed Hagyó Miklós in preliminary detention on the 17th of September 2010. This decision by the investigating authority was based on the danger of absconding and hiding. The politician’s defender appealed against the most severe coercive measures, but the Court of Second Instance, led by President Szívós Mária, dismissed the appeal. The dismissed appeal is consistent with Szívós Mária’s record. On the 10th of September 2010 the judge upheld the PKKB warrant - which was dated on the 17th of August 2010 - in which Hagyó’s defender the request of elimination of coercive measures was rejected. On the 7th of October 2010, Szívós also upheld the September 16th warrant of the PKKB which was about the extension of coercive measures.
The appointment of Szívós into the Parliament (source: Index)
The prosecutor publicly supported the preliminary detention by stating, “in the course of the investigation information emerged that shows Hagyó Miklós wants to leave the country to avoid the prosecution.” The Buda Central District Court accepted this argument, and directly quoted the prosecutor as part of their justification. Later on May 26th, 2010, the Court of the Second Instance determined that "there is data suggesting that the suspect wants to leave the country." On the 8th of June 2010, Kádár András, in his petition asked the prosecutor to present the evidence which determined the necessity of the preliminary detention. According to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights the equality of arms principle was violated in this case. If the defender is not able to access appropriate documents of the investigation, he or she does not have opportunity to confute the lawfulness of his or her client’s detention. The request was rejected without substantial justification by the prosecution. According to the prosecutor – with the exception of certain documents – the defense can only obtain a copy of the investigation file before the end of the investigation, if it does not harm the interest of the investigation. The defender mentioned that this questionable evidence did not concern the subject of the criminal proceed but rather the claims of absconding. So according to the practice of the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights, the proposed evidence which shows Hagyó’s intentions of fleeing Hungary should be available for the defense. Kádár András said that they did not receive a satisfactory answer for the complaint. Hagyó’s defender told us that they still do not know the “data” (the evidence showing an intention to flee) which was referred to by the prosecutor. Moreover they have not found evidence of potential absconding while reviewing those documents of which the defenders do possess. It is ascertainable that the prosecutor argued for the strictest coercive measures in reference to this data. However, contrary the European law, this data has never been shown to the defense, and it’s existence is doubtful.[source: [forrás: „Jogsértő volt Hagyó fogvatartása” – Népszava, 2012. február 8.] – See in the third annex.
On the 27th of June 2011, Szívós Mária was elected to the Constitutional Court by the primarily Fidesz-controlled Parliament. That same day the court members, including the newly elected ones, voted to increase the number of court representatives. According to this decision the Constitutional Court would comprise of fifteen members, four more than the previous eleven, which took effect on September 1st, 2011. The fifteen-member committee was responsible for electing the nominees. To become a nominee one needed the support of the majority of the committee, and of the fifteen-member committee eight are representatives of the Fidesz party. Szívós Mária received 263 yes votes and 82 no votes. After presenting the results the Judges of the Constitutional Court swore an oath and signed a vow-document. (...) As stated by a report from Index, “Szívós, who was the head of the Municipal Court of Second Instance in Budapest, played a very important part in restricting personal liberty - in particularly the preliminary detention.” According to civilians there is a kind of automatism in this resolution, the courts like ordering preliminary detention, and in Strasbourg 12 times adjudged against Hungary in such cases. (Source: [forrás: „Megválasztották az öt új alkotmánybírót” – Index, 2011. június 27.]
VII. Balogh Zsolt’s Lawyer
The accused and star witness in this case, Balogh Zsolt, was the only suspect who has not been subjected to the questionable coercive measures; although the accusations against him are quite large when compared to the other suspects who have received the forcible detention. For comparison: Balogh’s suspected crimes total 1 billion Forint in damage to BKV; on the other hand, the prime suspect has been Hagyó Miklós who is charged with damaging criminal acts which total 168 million Forints for the company. It is a strange and worrying coincidence that Balogh was the suspect, who served from the beginning of their campaign the interests of the current two-thirds governing Fidesz – on the hearings and in the media, also (See Chapter IV). Shortly after the case had been publicized, he changed his lawyer. First, his defender was the nationally famous Dr. Bárándy György. He changed from Bárándy to Dr. Szabó Iván before any spectacular action in the investigation had occurred. Dr. Szabó Iván was next to him when he was giving incriminatory information about Hagyó, when he was providing the right-side media with the Nokia Box story, and when the confrontation with Hagyó had occurred.
But who is Szabó Iván?
As the press and his website (www.drszaboivan.hu) have revealed, he is related to Fidesz in many ways:
–Szabó Iván worked at Pintér Sándor’s firm. Sándor has served as the Minister of Interior in both of Orbán’s governments. The lawyer attended the acquisition of the Pécs Waterworks, which led to a serious diplomatic conflict with France. (Source: [forrás: „Száz eurót keres óránként Pintér Sándor ügyvédje az "új" pécsi vízműnél” – Hírszerző, 2010. június 17.]
- On the 28th of June in 2010, Szabó Iván became a member of the board of supervision in the 100% state-owned Szerencsejáték Zrt.
- Szabó Iván conducted annexation action of some firms by the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB). [Source: "Vizek ura" - HVG, 2010. August 4 – See in the seventh annex] The "MFB commando" changed the leadership of Állami Autópálya Kezelő Zrt., the Nemzeti Infrastruktúra Fejlesztő Zrt., and the Magyar Közút Nonprofit Zrt. In many cases the actions taken by Szabó were very humiliating for the companies. (Source: [forrás: „MFB-kommandó: összehangolt hatalomátvétel az állami cégeknél” – Index, 2010. július 2.]
- Szabó Iván manages the public procurement of the National Infrastructure Development Corporation. (Nemzeti Infrastruktúra Fejlesztés Zrt.) (source: http://drszaboivan.hu)
- On the 6th of August 2010, Szabó István became a member of the National Election Committee (Országos Választási Bizottság) with the Fidesz coalition partner, the Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt (KDNP). (Source: [forrás: „A Fidesz és a KDNP pártdelegáltjával bővült az OVB” – Stop, 2010. augusztus 6.]
- On the 20th of August 2011, Szabó Iván was honored with the Merit Cross of the Hungarian Republic by Minister of Rural area Development from the Orban government “to appreciate his activities for water utility service improvement." (Source: A vidékfejlesztési miniszter által átadott állami elismerések” – http://augusztus20.kormany.hu/vm, 20 August 2010)
Szabó Iván receives Merit Cross of the Hungarian Republic by Minister of Rural area Development from the Orban government
- On the 10th of February 2012, Szabó Iván worked as a lawyer at the Pécs Local Government - led by Fidesz - when it turned up that Balogh Zsolt leads a Transport Company in the same city, who was involved in a slush fund scandal. (source: [forrás: „Újra közlekedési céget vezet a Nokia-dobozos Balogh Zsolt” – Index, 2012.február10.]- See in the second annex
- April 2012: Szabó Iván did not sign the petition to the Constitutional Court, in which the other lawyers lodged complaint against the transfer of the case to the Kecskemét Court. Among the signers were Bárándy Péter, the ex-minister of justice and Bánáti János, the president of the Hungarian Lawyer Chamber. (Source: [forrás: „BKV-ügy: van, akit nem zavar a jogsértés?” – Népszava, 2012.április 20.]
VIII. Promotions, Remunerations, Appointments, Attachments
Previous information can provide us a general inspection into the participants of the “Hagyó-case,” so it is worth looking through to see how these participants are tied directly or indirectly to the Fidesz party.
- In March 2010 Pető György, the ex-Deputy Mayor of Óbuda – who was the political rival of Hagyó – was employed by the Police Headquarters of Budapest. (source: [forrás: „Hagyó ellenlábasát felvették a BRFK-ba” – Index, 2010. március 11.], – in Index, 11 03 2010). After Fidesz won the local elections he was offered a job from Lord Mayor István Tarlós. (source: [forrás: „Korábbi szocialista alpolgármesterére bízott két fővárosi céget Tarlós” – Origo, 2010. október 17.]– in Origo, 17 10 2010)
● In September 2010 a book titled “Socialist Corruption Company” was published by Gábor Schmidt. As the title suggests, he made the BKV case the tool of the Fidesz’s campaign. Schmidt was awarded a job after Fidesz won the elections from the new Lord Mayor, István Tarlós. (source: „[forrás: „A sárga hernyótól Hagyóig - a BKV-botrány egy könyvben” – Népszabadság, 2010. szeptember 2.]– in Népszabadság, 2 09 2010)
● On the 15th of March 2011, the Head of Central Investigation Prosecutor, Keresztes Imre, received the Merit Middle Cross of the Hungarian Republic," to honor his performance in the investigation of those cases that were in the public’s interest, extremely difficult and needed complex legal summarization, and to appreciate his successful prosecutor and managerial career.”
Orbán and Schmitt awarded Keresztes
“Until this time, the Keresztes organization - from the foundation of it -, has only worked with corruption cases, but none of them had been resolved. But undoubtedly the Central Investigation Chief Prosecutor has very much helped the Fidesz. For example, someone made available the report from the confrontation between Miklós Hagyó and Zsolt Balogh, in the Nokia-box case. (source: [forrás: „Középkeresztet kapott a szocialista politikusok után nyomozó főügyész” – 168 óra, 2011. március 15.])
● On the 31st of May 2011 Dr. Győri György acting prosecutor in this case, became the deputy lead prosecutor in the district XI and district XXII Prosecution.
● On the 13th of December 2011, Handó Tünde, wife of Szájer József – a member of the European Parliament, was assigned as the President of the National Judical Office (OBH). Handó Tünde ordered the Hagyó proceedings to be held in Kecskemét, which has raised suspicion because of Kecskemét’s partiality towards FIdesz.
● On the 10th of February 2012, it became public knowledge that Zsolt Balogh has been working for the transport company of Pécs (which is a Fidesz-controlled city), even though he is suspected in the Hagyó case.
- On the 7th of March 2012 the media was informed about the schedule of the Hagyó case in Kecskemét by the acting judge, who is the son of a previous Fidesz Deputy Mayor. (source: [forrás: „Újabb fideszes rokon az eljárásban” – Népszava, 2012. március 7.])
● Dr. Iván Szabó, Zsolt Balogh’s lawyer and employee of the Ministry of the Interior, received the Merit Middle Cross of the Hungarian Republic.
● On the 27th of June 2011 Szívós Mária was elected a member of the Constitutional Court by the Fidesz-controlled Parliament.
● Ferenc Bicskei, head of the Kecskemét Court, didn’t take part in the protest against the legislation, which seriously hurt the independence of the justice system.
● Péter Darák, Head of the Supreme Court (appointed by the Fidesz-controlled Parliament) and the Justice Secretary of State, took part in a common training with the judges Supreme Court in Balatonőszöd.
IX. “Intellectual Interrogation”
Miklós Hagyó spent 9 months in pre-trial detention. During his time in prison, the public morale didn’t reduce in front him. In the media – ignoring the presumption of his innocence - he became known as an offender. Furthermore, during the preliminary punishment the politician was suspected of another new crime. The imputation was, that he entrusted his spouse as a “legal delegate” to have the opportunity to meet her more often. Later the Court of First Instance released Hagyó and his partners from the charge. (source: [forrás: „Felmentették Hagyó Miklóst az okirathamisítási ügyben” – Index, 2012. január 16.] – in Index, 16.01.2012). He was released according to the decision that in civil law cases anyone can entrust his or her relative as a legal delegate. Despite of this case, he was forbidden from maintaining contact with his common-law wife for a long time.
In this case György Magyar, one of the most prestigious criminal lawyers in Hungary, said the following:
- “What was your opinion about this case after reading the documents and the procedures?”
- “My definite opinion is that Miklós Hagyó, his lawyer and his ex-spouse did everything as written in the rules of the prison and the legislation. What was the essence of this proceed? The prosecutor wanted to confirm with the facts – in my opinion unsuccessfully - that Miklós Hagyó with the help of his lawyer wanted to camouflage his ex-spouse as a legal delegate to ensure opportunities to keep in contact during his pre-trial detention. The whole reasoning is wrong, because in a civil law case anyone can entrust his relative to be a legal delegate. If this case doesn’t speak about Miklós Hagyó, but for example János Kovács, I’m sure, nobody would be charged. The prosecutor artificially created a crime. In every case the commander of the prison permitted the visits; another similar authorization can be found in the documents which have been concealed by the prosecutor. Furthermore, the commander of the prison also wrote to the prosecutor that no irregularity in the prison had occurred.”
- “So the prosecutor hasn’t erred simply, but a conceptual proceeding has been started?”
- “I’m very nervous about the fact that politicians would like to take part in the justice system. The only luck is that the judiciary doesn’t seem to accept this. The Court of First Instance followed the rules correctly when it released Hagyó and his partners from the charge. The terrible thing is, the prosecutor appealed it. But the prosecutor achieved its aim with it …”
- “What kind of aim?”
- “In my opinion an intellectual interrogation was committed against Hagyó. With the unfounded charge he was deprived from visitation by his relatives. He would have met once a month with the only person who could have encouraged him, but he was deprived from this opportunity. The aim was to mortify him. The more humiliated and tortured a man is, the greater the chance that the accused will provide a testimony which the prosecutor is seeking. I’m against using the widespread use of pre-trial detention. A man thinks differently in a cell. This type of press is unacceptable, and violates due process, a fundamental human right.(Source: The prosecutor created a crime” – in Népszava: 22 03 2012. [forrás: „Az ügyészség kreált egy bűnügyet” – Népszava, 2012. március 22.])
Miklós Hagyó was subjected to house arrest after the documents pertaining to his pre-trial detention were published, in which the deterioration of his health and the dangers of the conditions of the pre-trial detention became publicly known. (source: www.hagyomiklos.com)
- On the 10th of June Hagyó was released from pre-trial detention. According to the effective judged there was not any data, or fact, which suggested a desire to escape and hide. Earlier in the petitions of the prosecutor and in the decisions of the judge there were references about such data and facts existing. (source: www.hagyomiklos.com)
- 2012. 04.04: On an independent, professional forum Éva Kádár’s study “An Emphasized Case: From the Extent of the Constitutional Rights” was published. Kádár, a student at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University – Faculty of Law, appointed in her study that, Hagyó Miklós's elementary human rights were violated throughout the legal actions taken against him, and the media did not care about presumption of the accused’s innocence. (source: [forrás: „Egy (alkotmányos alapjogok hatálya alól) kiemelt ügy?” – Jogi Fórum, 2012. április 4.] www.jogiforum.hu – See in the eight annex)
- 2012. April 17: The acquittal in the private document forgery case against Hagyó is legally binding because the prosecutor repealed its appeal against the judgment of the Court of First Instance. (source: [forrás: „Jogerősen is felmentették Hagyót” – 168 óra, 2012. május 9.])
In the two-year history of the cases against Hagyó, this was the first time the prosecutor had shown self-control and self-restraint.
X. Change of Legal Environment
The most significant event of the prosecution against Hagyó, which received national and international response, was that Handó Tünde, President of National Judicial Office and wife Szájer Jószef - a member of the European Parliament - appointed the court in Kecskemét to hear the case of the Budapest Public Transport Company. She had been provided this opportunity because of the new Constitution - written by the Fidesz. On the 19th of December 2011 the Constitutional Court, with its AB 166/2011, decision annulled the provision of the law with Szívós Mária's minority report. Those who trusted the impartiality of the jurisdiction and the sincerity of Szívós Mária, who kept in prison Hagyó, disagreed with transferring the location of the cases.
Because the Constitutional Court interfered that Polt Péter, the Public Prosecutor, can appoint court in a certain case, so they solved the problem another way. On the 31st of December 2010 the Parliament accepted the temporary provision of the Constitution, and it came to effect on the 1st of January 2011.
The temporary provision of the Constitution Article 11 states: “(3) In the Constitution article XXVIII section (1) to prevail the foundational right for judicial decision in reasonable time in the event that a court is “overloaded” and a balance of the courts is not solvable, the President of the National Judicial Office (OBH) can assign a distinct competency court by another same term of reference court in any case.”
With this Handó Tünde who is President of the National Judicial Office (OBH) received permission to appoint a court, if the court complains about “overloading”. One day after Hagyó and his partners were acquitted of the forgery charge and the Tribunal of the Capital City indicated that it was overloaded and it would give away the case of the Budapest Public Transport Company. This was the first occurrence of “overloading” in the country, and it concerned only two cases.
On the 16th of January 2012, the acquittal was announced after one day. The Tribunal of the Capital City notified that they had 267 cases of great significance - because of overloading- they will indicate transferring of two cases to another court. One of these two cases is the case of the Budapest Public Transport Company. Hagyó’s defender said that it was strange and miserable that from the 267 cases even the socialist politician’s case is the equipment to relieve the court.
Since that, it has been obvious that the Kecskemét Court is at least as busy as the Tribunal of the Capital City, and only with formal requirements can it complete the urgent requirements, but in reality it has not complied.
Handó Tünde, President of the National Judicial Office and wife of Szájer Jószef - who is a member of the European Parliament – will make a decision regarding the transfer of the case. The President of the National Judicial Office that is the successor of the National Jurisdiction Council received the right to appoint court. Handó Tünde is the only person who can exercise all of the appointments, the transfers, the dismissals and the control powers as well. (source: „[forrás: „Repedések a Hagyó-ügyön” – Népszava, 2012. január 21.]– Népszava, 21 January 2012)
According to these civil rights organizations this practice is not compatible with democracy: Transparency International Hungary "[source[forrás: „Transparency: Aggályos a Hagyó-per Kecskemétre helyezése” – Origo, 2012. február 20.]- Origo20 February 2012], the Association for Human Rights, and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee [source: [forrás: „"Bíróságot kijelölni veszélyes!" - tiltakozik a TASZ és a Magyar Helsinki Bizottság” – hvg.hu, 2012. február 23.] – hvg.hu, 23 February 2012, see in the fifth annex],
The 20th of March 2012, the legal section of The Guardian wrote this about Handó Tünde:
“Imagine a European country where one person can pick the judges. And effectively sack them or transfer them to other courts. And draw up court rules. And initiate legislation on the courts. And hold some 60 other specified legal powers.
Now imagine that this individual has been just given a nine-year term of office. And that, even after that term is up, this hugely powerful figure will simply remain in office unless a successor can command a two-thirds majority in the country's parliament. What would you call a country like that?
The answer, of course, is Hungary. All these powers are in the hands of Handó Tünde, a former judge and president of the newly established National Judicial Office (NJO). No doubt it's pure coincidence that she is married to Szájer József, a founding member of the ruling Fidesz party and the man credited with drawing up Hungary's constitution on his iPad. Szájer resigned his posts in the domestic party when his wife was appointed in January, but remains a member of the European parliament and a key figure who briefed reporters over breakfast at the Hungarian embassy in London last month.” [source: [forrás: „Meet Tünde Handó” – The Guardian, 2012. március 20.] – The Guardian, 20 March 2012]
In March 2012 the Venice Commission drafted 5 "non-negotiable" conditions about the reformation of the jurisdiction to the Hungarian government.
1. President of the National Judicial Office must provide justifiable decisions, with the allowance of an appeal process.
2. President of the National Judicial Office, after 9 years, cannot be elected again. After expiry of its mandate, it cannot continue its work; its deputy replaces it until the new president is chosen.
3.Neither the President of the National Judicial Office, nor another judicial leader have any right to transfer cases to other courts, because it violates the legal right to judge over the fundament right of a fair trial.
4. The possibility that the President of the Republic can assign the judges several definite terms must be eliminated; neither the judges nor the juridical secretary can serve under a “repeated probation time”
5. The possibility that judges can unwillingly be transferred and subjected to an automatic removal from service must be eliminated. (source: [forrás: „Exkluzív: íme, a kőkemény feltételek Orbánéknak” – atv.hu, 2012. április 12.]– atv.hu, 12 April 2012.)
On the 23rd of March 2012, an internet news site published Hagyó's indictment, before the concerned was able to receive it. The document reveals that from the putative fifty (50) crimes only 3 crimes are held up against the socialist politician. Two charges are based on Balogh's testimony. The indictment of the Central Investigation Public Prosecutor in the case of the Public Transport Company foreshadowed a milder judgment than the District VII Mayor’s judgment, because they lacked sufficient evidence to support the formal charges. Although a general part of the indictment document suggests Hagyó as a mafia chief, the prosecutor holds not more than three of the fifty accusations against Hagyó. Firstly, he is charged with committing fraudulence by misusing funds of the Budapest Transport Company, because he ordered for himself a HUF 50 million service from the AAM Inc. consultancy company (which was used for his Deputy Mayor's work). Secondly, the Investigation Authority accuses Miklós of fraudulence and abuse of power in that he claimed a certificate of compliance from Balogh Zsolt –acting CEO of PTC at the time - in the case of building passenger information systems between the Batthyány Square stop and the Békásmegyer stop - although the work was not good enough. Thirdly, the charges of bribery or corruption and blackmail against the previous Deputy Mayor, because he claimed HUF 15 million from Balogh in 2008 and in 2009, also; Hagyó threatened Balogh with humiliation via the above mention irregular certificate of completion if Balogh did not provide the money. (source: „[forrás: „Ízekre szedett vádirat: Alig van bizonyíték Hagyó Miklós ellen” – Heti Válasz, 2012. április 5.] – Heti Válasz, 5 April 2012 – See in the first annex)
Although the trial begins in the coming weeks, in a view of the details of Hagyó’s case it is hard to think that the Hungarian jurisdiction is impartial and the international criticism is exaggerated.
What is it about?
Apparently it is about a socialist politician, who is crucified by one person’s testimony and statements by the right-side media machine and the largest opposition party. During the 2010 parliamentary and local government elections Hagyó was the icon and the embodiment of corruption, and the opposition party gained enormous, two-thirds power in a unique way in Europe. During this time Hagyó was forced into prison based on non-existent information.
The main character of the story is Balogh Zsolt, who is also suspected of criminal activity. According to his own confession, he was a part of this “socialist corruption machine.” It appears that he was acquitted by the right-side media after his incriminating testimonies against Hagyó in the Fidesz-oriented media outlets. Furthermore, Balogh is still working in a department of the local government, and he is well represented by a lawyer who plays a part in the economic and political operations of the Fidesz. Balogh will not be a public enemy, and he has not spent even a single day in preliminary detention.
The Fidesz has written laws empowering one individual, currently Handó Tünde, to transfer the case to another court. This has proven to be a biased legislation which the Zushlag case has shown. After a sensible judge of the Constitutional Court annulled this law, Fidesz legislators incorporated into the Constitution this power to displace cases when they deemed necessary. The question is righteous, if someone is guilty why should we be selective about the location of a case? Perhaps upholding the law or even the idea of universal law, is the common denominator within the Hungarian courts? It seems that according to the Fidesz that is not the situation.
If a prosecutor has done his or her work well, essentially accusing Hagyó with a baseless crime, this prosecutor will be awarded. Who has kept Hagyó in prison; she is a member of the Constitutional Court. Who confessed against him; he is free and has received a job from the Fidesz. Who on behalf of the court informs the press; he is a son of a Fidesz politician. Who transfers the case to another court; she is a Fidesz politician’s wife. The signs are alarming and they are increasing.
As the author of this summary I do not intend to justify whether or not Hagyó Miklós and his partners committed the crimes. It belongs to an independent jurisdiction, if there would be any. The above shows that the Hungarian judiciary seems undemocratic, but not just from me. It seems undemocratic from the Venice Commission's office, from The Guardian, the Washington Post and an editorial of The New York Times, also. The Hungarian jurisdiction seems dreadful from Hagyó Miklós’s point of view. But who will be the next Hagyó Miklós tomorrow, nobody knows.
XIII. The list of the English translated annexes
1.) „Ízekre szedett vádirat: Alig van bizonyíték Hagyó Miklós ellen” – Heti Válasz, 2012. április 5.
2.) „Újra közlekedési céget vezet a Nokia-dobozos Balogh Zsolt” – Index, 2012.február 10.
3.) „Jogsértő volt Hagyó fogvatartása” – Népszava, 2012. február 8.
4.) „Kecskemét "kedves" Szájernének?”- Népszava, 2012. február 23.
5.) „Bíróságot kijelölni veszélyes!” – TASZ, 2012. február 23.
6.) „Hanyagul alátámasztott politikai pamfletre emlékeztet a Hagyó Miklós és társai ügyében készült vádirat” – hvg.hu, 2012. május 6.
7.) „Vizek ura” – hvg.hu, 2010. augusztus 4.
8.) „Egy (alkotmányos alapjogok hatálya alól) kiemelt ügy?” – Jogi Fórum, 2012. április 4.
9.) Intraductory of the case of the private forgery – hagyomiklos.com