That is a heavily politicised case, so let’s put that aside. The other one, however, was the acquittal of everyone in the lawsuit about Hungary’s worst environmental disaster, a flood of industrial sludge. The toxic spill in 2010 killed ten people, injured over 200, destroyed 358 homes, wiped out all life in two small rivers and polluted over 1,000 hectares. And according to the court, nobody was responsible. The spill was not an act of God, mind you. There was no earthquake, or terrorist attack. The wall of the reservoir simply couldn’t take the pressure any more and apparently nobody was responsible for that. If that doesn’t warrant a political debate, I don’t know what does. Now, I’m not saying that politicians should interfere with the independence of the judiciary, but let’s make one thing clear: the job of the judge is to make a ruling within the confines of the law. If the law says that a child rapist can get a maximum of two years in prison – fortunately it does not – no judge can hand down a life sentence, no matter how much they would like to do so. In this case it seems clear to me that there is something wrong with either the necessary security measures or the law. And both of these are ultimately the responsibility of politicians. Common sense dictates that somebody – or more people – should have gone to jail for this, but it seems that the laws do not make it possible to find out who was responsible. Well, then the laws need to be changed.

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