László Juszt versus State Secret!

0
335

When I had written the preface of the „Popular topics” chapter then, according to my custom, I chose a concrete case which was the order of that time but was essentially concluded. For the thought „On László Juszt a little differently” as an example it seemed to be a good thought to approach the CASE from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s point of view. Hence at the time of my writing I thought that the subject was essentially settled. I have to acknowledge it manfully that I was wrong „again”! This is why I decided not to complete the „Preface” part with the new lessons of the everyday life this time but I will publish it as a separate writing following the repetition of the parts of the preface regarding about this.

Quotation from the Preface:

„„You must learn to read between the lines, that is to hear the real meaning of what is being said!”

This sentence rang in my ear many times during my public presence and even in my private life when hearing or reading about something. I think that many people share this view but I feel it increasingly important that we consciously do so.

When our Prime Minister Viktor Orbán makes a statement concerning the László Juszt case ( publishing papers deemed to be state secret), saying that governmental actions shall be taken and such persons shall not receive media platform, then this sentence is sure to have follow up. Thus the Prime Minister is stepping in as well as the “independent” media. Once hearing the true meaning of this, its no surprise that Hungarian Television breaks contract with László Juszt. Although Budapest Police deems the investigation futile , the Hungarian National police calls for a search warrant and his house is searched by a police squad. National police wants to pursue the investigation even when the District Attorney’s Office orders the stop of the investigation stating that no crime has been committed. The lawyers should have noticed that our Prime Minister, a lawyer by profession did not only step in on this case but also impeached some of our ver important laws protecting our safety. Perhaps they did realize what happened but kept their secret. They shouldn’t! It is everyone’s duty to protect our state of law.

I intended to pick out a case which happened just recently. I wanted to introduce a case out of the ordinary. As soon as the deed was done the same day it was discussed high and wide. Naturally the viewpoints differed. The “star topic” became the center of media attention. But who will discuss the “mistake” made by the Prime Minister?! Since then it was proved that the journalist did not publish a state secret. If this is true, then breaking the television contract is hardly explicable. As a consequence of the statement made by the Prime Minister, the Police had to investigate and the president of national television could no longer contract Mr. Juszt. I must admit that I am waiting for a journalist to signal the Prime Minister to apologize to László Juszt, the police, the president of television and last but not least apologize to us. For those who understood what the words of Viktor Orbán meant lost their sense of security stemming from their right to Law and Order! …….. „

……… And see, here is the continuation! The Attorney General, Kálmán Györgyi, breaking a ten year period, had exercised his right and supervised his direct colleague Endre Bócz’s (Metropolitan District Attorney) legal viewpoint and abrogated the decision of the state attorney’s office about the nonsuit of the investigation. He even directed the police authorities to continue the investigation.

This step has been interpreted by many people in many ways already. I would like to do it a little differently again. Kálmán Györgyi’s decision reminds me of two thoughts which, I am convinced, should surely make the legislators think. One of them is whether that structure of the state attorney’s office really means security in law according to which there is only one Public Prosecutor in the Hungarian legal system. Now he is Kálmán Györgyi and all the co-workers of the state Attorney’s Office just deputize him. They can proceed just the way, the unquestionable scope of action of their decisions is what their superior, directing the deputyship, orders. The superior always mean the direct superior because he shares in his superior’s rights. So this way the „full powers” of the Attorney General starting the „dealing out” stands on the top. Does it assure the defendant’s constitutional rights if the public prosecutor participating in the trial and knowing the particulars of the case only deputizes? This way he has to uphold the charge until he can talk to his superior and ask for his permission even if the real offender enters the courtroom and admits his offense with irrebuttable evidences. Because it is not reassuring for me that the public prosecutor informs his superior about the bygones and backs down on the next trial. I am convinced that at the perception of innocence all the rights, which were previously curtailed in relation to the defendant, must be resettled immediately!

My other thought is more in connection with László Juszt. The security in law, the intelligibility of the laws and the being recognizable of the legal expectations for the citizens also belong to our fundamental human rights which is included in our „fundamental law” as one of the most important obligations. Will László Juszt’s culpability abide after taking it into consideration? I think it will not! I think it unimaginable that anybody could be stood over by imprisonment in a case of which the Metropolitan District Attorney and the Attorney General have different viewpoints. I do not care any more whether „expert analyses” consider the given document a state secret or not. Because the bygones preclude that the fact of the state secret was „compulsorily” recognizable for László Juszt. And if it is this way then the proceedings must be compulsorily ended already in the period of investigation either because of the lack of felony or because of the reason precluding the culpability!

………… We will see the continuation later!

December 1, 1999 …… I suspect that the so-called „Juszt case” will not end even with the lines below. I am not even going to make a try to foretell the final outcome. Also my own experiences often stupefied me when the „self-justifying” machinery of the state administration started. I am convinced that now there are no people working in the state attorney’s office who would have deemed the present viewpoint of the state attorney’s office possible during a talk of friends even a few months ago. Such a behavior of the state attorney’s office which orders a forth forced investigation – of betrayal of state secret – in such a case where the Parliamentary Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information states it in an official procedure that the published document did not contain any state secret.

I can almost hear my public prosecutor friends’ reasoning in according to which it would be senseless. Senseless because in its legal judgement the court – though the judge is not bound by the statement of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Data Protection – would surely not supervise the viewpoint of the highest forum of public law of the legal assessment of state secret. And what is surer than even this is that the court would preclude the recognizable being of the betrayal of state secret if it had „deceived” even the Commissioner for Data Protection. And this way they would acquit László Juszt because of the so-called reason precluding culpability.

The verdict of acquittal following the formal accusation of the state attorney’s office strengthens the professional prestige of the state attorney’s office nor generally. But in a case, where the actions of the police and the state attorney’s office were going on with the suspicion of the influence of the Power before already, the forcible and self-justifying actions to be fallen in view of their final outcome would result in a grave confidential crisis. It is an extremely important requirement of the rule of law that the citizens should be able to have confidence in the institutions of the state and Power. It is such an important duty that the constitutional requirement of the security in law is usually, this way in Hungary too, is put down also in the Constitution. If some institute of power, this way also the state attorney’s office, significantly unsettles the citizens’ security in law by its operation or daily practice then even the constitutional recusation about the operation of the whole institution can be and must be examined.

If the state attorney’s office also booked László Juszt following the second investigation, which had been just ordered and could be hardly supported by arguments any more, then, I am convinced, the judicial verdict of acquittal could be taken for certain. I do not simply render it probable but in the mentioned case I would consider it desirable that it would be a duty of the parties of the opposition to suggest the establishment of a parliamentary commission of enquiry. It would be the duty of the commission to examine whether the official actions of the police and state attorney’s office had been influenced by the state or any of its politicians in the Juszt case and in a few other cases!

Now I can just hope that we will not get this far. Unfortunately it is already too bad that, to quote the locution which is such well-known in the state attorney’s office, the „probable cause” stands up now already!

……. We shall see the further continuation!

January 11, 2000 – The Metropolitan District Attorney’s Office had withdrawn the charge

The tide turned again today in the so-called Juszt case. The Metropolitan District Attorney, Endre Bócz had dismissed the formal accusation for lack of felony in László Juszt’s alleged case of betrayal of state secret. According to the attorney’s decision an error has crept into the process of qualification as state secret. The document published by the weekly paper Kriminális was qualified as state secret by a person who was not legitimated for this by the law. Therefore the document had not become a state secret. And a betrayal of state secret cannot be committed without a state secret. This way dr. Endre Bócz had discontinued the criminal procedure for lack of felony for the second time.

It cannot be known yet whether Kálmán Györgyi will repeat his previous action and will supervise his District Attorney again. It is not impossible in the given case but I do not think so. I was recently in a company with well-known lawyers and the subject was their confidence toward the certain forums of the administration of justice. None of them disagreed with the summary remark that they had lost their preceding unquestionable confidence in the Attorney General’s impartiality. This way the criminal procedure has probably come to an end. László Juszt will get his passport, sporting-guns, etc. back. Also the script of Juszt’s appearance in the Vidám Theatre (Everybody resign!) will have to be thoroughly rewritten. But the happenings are surely not over yet. Those proceedings will start now for László Juszt in which he can participate as claimant this time. It would not surprise me if beside the Hungarian Television Juszt initiated proceedings against the police and the state attorney’s office. Because the proceedings of these organs would hardly pass the test of legality. But also the legal actions against several people (politicians and journalists) can be raised. Here I would like just to refer to the Prime Minister’s direct intervention in the way of the proceedings against László Juszt.

I am interested mainly in three things. One of them is Viktor Orbán’s behavior. I remember that Viktor Orbán – rightly – pretty firmly called upon his Minister of Environmental Protection to personally do his best for the sake of the reparation of Csaba Aradi’s person’s public calumny when the inquiry against the suspended leader of the Hortobágy National Park was concluded the way that no violation of the law had happened. I wonder whether the Prime Minister of the country will be such consistent towards himself too?

On the other hand, I wonder how the opposition will act in the following days? Will the public figure journalist get that political protection from the parliamentary opposition which he needs and which would be absolutely due to him in a democracy (against the unmerited attacks of the state administration and the politics which happen definitely for political reasons)? I wonder whether the necessity of establishment of a parliamentary commission will be raised in them? …. Or they will stay on the level of speeches.

On the third hand, I am awaiting the reaction of the colleagues, journalists, regardless of their possible political affiliation or what kind of relation they previously had with their journalist colleague. It can be raised belonging to this subject whether the professional circles concerned in the judicature will begin to speak or they will stay at the secure nods of the talks among themselves. Here I mean mainly the social organizations of journalists, lawyers, the jurisprudence, attorneys and the police!

…………….. I will surely continue it!

…back