How did the parliamentary elections affect Hagyó’s nokia-box case?
A couple of minutes after the National Assembly had been established, Hagyó was arrested at his home. He was handcuffed despite the fact that he had declared his intention to cooperate to the police in advance in writing, furthermore there was no intent to escape shown. Hagyó was remanded in custody which was prolonged three times without – all together for 9 months - considerable justification by Mária Szívós and the prosecution led by Imre Keresztes. Hagyó turned to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for remedy. Meanwhile he was also accused of being in an unlawful relationship with his partner. They decided in his favor in both the cases.
What were the reasons for Hagyó’s custody?
The related orders usually referred to the intent to escape and hide as the reasons for Hagyó’s keeping in custody. His custody was prolonged by Mária Szívós basically simply repeating the same reasons. Hagyó finally spent all together 9 months in custody based on rather doubtful reasons.
Does it mean that the risk of Hagyó’s escape was not a real danger at all?
According to Hagyó’s lawyer, it was not. Hagyó was well aware of the investigations being conducted against him for 6-8 months and the fact that during the procedure approximately 15 defendants were interrogated, however he did not leave the country and he did not show a behavior indicating his intention to flee from the justice or ignore the current Hungarian legislation. He regularly made statements, continuously sign his presence in order to prove that he had no intention to escape and abuse his diplomat passport. If he had wanted to flee he could do so as the member of the parliament until May 2010 as he was protected by the immunity from prosecution. He also had the chance to influence the witnesses and hide evidence. Moreover, shortly before his arrest he had repaid a larger loan, which disproves the suspect of escape. Besides, before his arrest Hagyó’s lawyer let the BRFK know that the defendant is willing to cooperate with the police anytime and anywhere.
Despite these facts he was kept in custody by Szívós?
Exactly. Moreover, coercive measures were ordered against further five defendants in the BKV-case referring to questionable reasons and data. Finally, Szívós prolong his custody three times without criticism. In each the related orders, she referred to certain police report containing data indicating Hagyó’s intent to escape. Gábor Tóth, Police Chief of that time, personally confirmed that the police had obtained data indicating Hagyó’s intent to escape. This data has not been revealed so far.
Did this data exist at all to which they referred?
It seems to be not. Hagyó’s lawyer already in June 2010 submitted his request to the prosecutor’s office to provide him with the evidence based on which Hagyó’s arrest took place. The request was rejected without substantive justification. The defense – except certain documents – can be provided with the copy of the investigatory documents before the end of the investigatory procedure, if it does not threaten the investigatory interests. Hagyó’s lawyer submitted complaint against the rejection, in which he referred to the fact that the evidence in question related to Hagyó’s intent to escape not to the act for which the prosecution was initiated. There was no satisfying answer provided to the complaint. The defense has not learnt the data to which the prosecution referred to, moreover it was found in the papers handed over during presentation of documents. This prosecution argued for the coercive measures making reference to data which was not introduced to the defense – ignoring the European rights – therefore its existence is highly questionable. Since then more official orders stated that there was no data found indicating the intent to escape.
Which documents states that there is no data indicating the intent to escape?
First, 23 February 2011 – when Hagyó’s house arrest was ordered – was it stated that there was no data found indicating his intent to escape. Later 10 June 2011, when the release order was issued, the Court of Appeal also recorded that there was no information, police records or any other data which would justify the prosecution’s decisions. 23 April 2013 European Court of Human Rights also decided in Hagyó’s favor. In the decision made in Strasbourg it was also referred to the lack of the data in question.
So the case went to Strasbourg?
Yes. Hagyó turned to the European Court of Human Rights to find remedy for the unacceptable circumstances of his custody. According to the submission authorities keeping him in custody violate the European Convention on Human Rights in more articles, such as the right to liberty and security, the prohibition of torture, the right to family and right to remedy. The investigatory documents were not made available for his lawyer – as a result his lawyer had no chance to refute the legality of his custody – violating the principle of equality of arms. Strasbourg decided in Hagyó’s favor as they missed the related data. Their decision confirmed that there was no concrete danger of escape.