2012. december 28., péntek

The Pre-trial Detention and the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights

I have written that Miklós Hagyó was subjected to a 9-month term in pre-trial detention, which is one of the more controversial aspects of the entire affair. Apparently, though, I am not the only person who considers the pre-trial detention circumstances lawfully questionable. 
Hagyó recently petitioned the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights (SCHR) to consider his case with regards to the legality of his time spent within the penal institution. After receiving Hagyó’s plea, the SCHR has essentially agreed to review his case, and subsequently has asked the Hungarian Ministry of Public Administration and Justice to lay forth their claims on this case.
This is a big step in the direction of the complete acquittal of Hagyó as all charges against him would presumably be dropped, that is, if the SCHR finds the Hungarian Judiciary to be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
When Miklós was first arrested by the police on May 14th, 2010 he was immediately transferred to prison without any formal evidence supporting these measures.  Eventually, the prosecutors claimed they possessed evidence of his intention to flee the country, which required his detainment.  The acting judges, Mária Szívós and Katalin Kutron, accepted these claims and maintained his pre-trial detention status.  The supporting evidence, however, has never been brought forth for legal or public examination.  Luckily for the former deputy mayor, another judge determined that the pre-trial detention was not only unfitting, but it was simultaneously causing Hagyó to experience health problems.  Consequently, on February 13th, 2011 Hagyó was released from prison and placed on house arrest until June 8th of the same year. 
Of course, this would not be the first time that the Hungarian judicial system has violated the Convention, which serves as the standard on human rights for the 47 Council of Europe member states that have ratified the treaty.  According to the ECHR, since Hungary ratified the Convention on the 5th of November in 1992, the country has been in violation of the treaty 200 times.  The majority of those violations related to the length of criminal proceedings.  However, another common violation relates to unlawful pre-trial detentions.

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