One of the defendants in the so-called "antifa" case sentenced to prison

The Budapest-Capital Regional Court has sentenced a man to 3 years imprisonment and expelled him from Hungary for 5 years in a criminal case in which a woman was charged with 3 counts of attempted assault causing bodily harm in a criminal organisation - 2 as an accomplice, 1 as an accessory - and a man and a woman were charged with the crime of participation in a criminal organisation.

According to the indictment, the foreign nationals were members of an organisation of young adults sympathetic to extreme left-wing ideology, who, in addition to participating in demonstrations and rallies, planned to engage in violent attacks against the militant National Socialist and fascist extreme right-wing. Their aim was to assault selected victims by various means capable of taking their lives, in order to inflict on them the humiliation of serious, life-threatening injuries and the circumstances of the unexpected attacks, to a degree of psychological anguish that would send a message of deterrence to the representatives of extreme right-wing movements.

The members of the aforementioned organization, including those led by the second accused, were given strength training sessions, during which they also practiced the exact course of attacks.

The prosecution asked the court to sentence (in a so-called "moderate" plea) the first defendant to 11 years and the second and third defendants to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment in the case of their confession and waiver of their right to trial. In addition, to expel the first accused from Hungary for 10 years and the second and third accused from Hungary for 5 to 5 years.

At the preliminary hearing, only the second accused pleaded guilty in accordance with the charge and waived their right to a trial. The court accepted the accused's statement and, after the speeches, pronounced a judgment based on the facts of the indictment. Taking into account the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, the court stated 3 years imprisonment, subject to the mean. In addition, he was expelled from Hungary for 5 years. The court assessed the defendant's confession and his criminal record in his favour, and took into account the fact that criminal proceedings against him were pending in Germany. Other aggravating features were the circumstances in which the offence was committed, its international nature, the frame of a cross-border organisation and the fact that the defendant was a leader in the criminal organisation therefore played an active role in the attacks.

Although the personal features of the accused indicate that he was in decent circumstances, the court maintained his arrest until a final decision was delivered in the second instance in order to ensure his presence at the next procedural steps, because of the risk of absconding and hiding.

The prosecution appealed against the sentence, requesting an aggravation, the accused and his defence counsel requesting a reduction. The order to maintain the coercive measure is also not final, as neither the accused nor his lawyer accepted it.

The criminal procedure against the first and third accused will continue with the main trial, which is set at 24th May 2024. At the preliminary hearing, the third accused and his defence counsel also requested to terminate the criminal supervision of the accused, but the court rejected this request due to the risk of fleeing and hiding, in order to ensure the presence of the accused during the procedure.