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Opposition calls on president to withdraw pardon of man convicted for abetting paedophilia

The opposition LMP has called on President Katalin Novak to revoke presidential clemency granted to a man convicted for coercing victims of paedophilia to withdraw testimonies.

LMP spokeswoman Anna Suveg told a press conference on Monday that Novak had pardoned a man who used his position as the deputy director of a children’s home in Bicske, in central Hungary, to blackmail residents to withdraw their testimony against the “paedophile director”.

Suveg called the decision “despicable”, noting that Novak had also pardoned Gyorgy Budahazy, “who had been convicted on terrorism charges”.

LMP is requesting access to the documentation leading to the decision, and calling on Novak to address the issue publicly. “Sentencing the perpetrators is something we owe the victims,” she said, adding that Novak was abusing the right to grant pardons, “a special and exclusive right of the country’s president”.

Meanwhile, the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) is launching an impeachment procedure against Novak over the issue. Parliamentary group spokeswoman Olga Kalman said on Monday that “someone pardoning an accessory to paedophilia … is not worthy to serve as Hungary’s president.”

The opposition Parbeszed party proposed that Novak provide reasons for her decisions related to the pardon and sign a related document, which should be published in the official Hungarian Gazette.

The president’s decision to release the accomplice of a paedophile criminal was “shameful”, Bence Tordai, the party’s group leader, told an online press briefing on Monday.

He said a part of Novak’s job was to represent the unity of the nation and its moral dimension, and she had abused her position and power, adding that she had lost the trust of the people and “can no longer be president of the republic of Hungary”.


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