Photo: MTI

Budapest mayor urging investigation into orphanage in paedophilia case

Gergely Karacsony, the mayor of Budapest, is proposing to set up a municipal committee to investigate past developments at a children's home in Bicske, west of Budapest, whose director was convicted of sexually abusing of children.

Referring to a recent presidential pardon granted to the deputy director, who was sentenced for being an accomplice, and which created a public uproar and led to the resignation of President Katalin Novak and former Justice Minister Judit Varga, Karacsony said “it is time to clarify political responsibility”.

In a video published on Facebook, Karacsony said the city has drawn up a report “aimed at finding an explanation for such monstrosities at a municipally run home” and “how the director, who was later convicted, could have been granted a municipal award”.

“All those responsible for the scandal, the government, Budapest’s former leaders and all politicians” should make amends to the victims, who “suffered unimaginably for years” at Bicske, he said.

“I will do so now, and say sorry … but it will not give them back the years they lost or remove the suffering,” Karacsony said.

He said the municipal report traces back the events to 2011, when two employees of the home contacted the municipality of Budapest and “described what the director did to the children”. He said the city’s leaders had acted “without humanity, responsibility or care … they neglected the most important players: the children”.

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