Police arrest one-time communist minister Biszku
Police arrested Bela Biszku, a 91-year-old communist-era interior minister on Monday, in his home in Budapest's second district, for his role in two fusillades that followed Hungary's 1956 anti-Soviet revolution, the Budapest public prosecutor told MTI.
Tibor Ibolya said Biszku was allegedly responsible for war crime that involved the killing of several people for which he can receive a life sentence.
Biszku denied the charge and did not make a statement, Ibolya added.
The Buda Central District Court later prohibited Biszku from leaving Budapest without special permission. Both the prosecution and the suspect appealed the decision. The prosecutor's office initiated that Biszku should be put under house arrest.
The ruling Fidesz party welcomed Biszku's arrest.
Crimes such as the execution and torture of innocent people during the communist and Nazi era should be judged by equal standards and should never be subject to the statute of limitations, the party said in a statement sent to MTI.
The Budapest Prosecutor's Office launched legal procedures against Biszku in February this year for his role in retributions after Hungary's anti-Soviet revolution in the autumn of 1956.
The investigator's office said in late August that an investigation in Biszku's case was extended by three months and the public prosecutor's office said Biszku had not yet been questioned by police.
The radical nationalist Jobbik party filed a claim against Biszku under a new law that declared crimes against humanity not to be subject to the statute of limitations and stipulated that crimes committed during the communist dictatorship should be punished.
Approved by parliament in an unanimous vote last December, the law entered into force on January 1.
Biszku was minister of the interior from 1957 to 1961, during the peak of post-1956 retaliations, which involved over 200 death penalties.