Killer sentenced to imprisonment in Hungary

On July 18, 1999, in Mándok, Eastern Hungary, a 21-year-old non-Romani man named Zoltán S. entered the home of Mr L.D. wearing a mask and attacked a Romani woman named T.K. with a knife. The noise woke the woman’s children — 20-year-old Tünde, 16-year-old Ernő and 15-year-old Emese. In the fight, the attacker injured the woman and the two younger children. Ernő managed to pull the mask off the person and the family recognised their 21-year-old neighbour Zoltán S. who following the disclosure of his identity, ran away. The three family members were taken to hospital with severe bodily injuries. Ernő died the following day as a result of injuries sustained in the attack. Emese and her mother are presenty being treated at the department of psychiatry in Nyíregyháza for trauma resulting from the assault. On January 25, 2000, Zoltán S. was sentenced by the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County Court to twelve years’ imprisonment for killing the 16-year-old Romani boy with a knife and wounding his sister and mother. Zoltán S. appealed the verdict. A person whom police identified as the instigator of the incident, a relative of the partner of Ms T.K., reportedly disapproved of his relatives living together with a Romani woman. At the court, the instigator, Mr M.S., claimed that he had only asked the defendant to frighten the woman. Mr M.S. was also sentenced. “What made the tragedy happen was racial motivation,” said Mr Albert Balogh, head of the Foundation for Romani Civil Rights Nyíregyháza office that provided legal assistance to the victims. The court did not rule on racial motivation in the case.

(Roma Press Center)

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