- 8 Dec 2016 9:33 AM
The State Department earlier issued a statement expressing concern over the recent “prosecution and sentencing in Hungary of Ahmed Hamed, a Syrian native involved in clashes between police and asylumseekers near the town of Röszke at the Hungary-Serbia border in September 2015, based on a broad interpretation of what constitutes ‘terrorism’.”
It urged the Hungarian government “to conduct a transparent investigation, with input from independent civil society groups, into the events at Röszke and to review the cases of Mr. Hamed and those similarly convicted.”
In his response, Menczer called it “strange” that the US was encouraging a foreign government “to interfere in court procedures”.
“It may be possible in the US, but not in Hungary,” he added. “It is not so-called civil organisations but the law courts that sentence perpetrators of a crime, whether the US State Department likes it or not,” he said.
“Attacking the Hungarian border and commanding an attack of several hours on Hungarian police are serious crimes which call for serious punishment.”
“Hungary would never hold US courts to account for sentencing terrorists who attacked American police,” the official added.
The justice ministry said it expected “allied countries” to respect the independence of the judiciary, and this applied to the United States, too.
It noted that the courts in Hungary are independent and the government had no say in their judgements. Hungary’s constitution provides for due process as a judicial requirement, it added.
The ruling Fidesz party called it “unacceptable” and “shocking” that the US Department of State commented on a Hungarian court ruling, especially taking into consideration that it is a non-final ruling.
Deputy party leader and deputy group leader Gergely Gulyás told MTI that Fidesz lawmakers reject attacks against the independence of the judiciary and believe that such an attack is especially “cynical” by those who “kept talking about threats to the independence of the judiciary in recent years without any reason”.
Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.