Hungary, Budapest – Béla Biszku, former Interior minister of Hungary, and one of the responsible for the repression of 56, died at 94, in the Charity Jewish Hospital.
Biszku was a hard-line communist, minister of Interior between 1957 to 1961, vice-prime minister in 61-62, he was suspected of ordering during the uprising of 1956 security forces to open fire on unarmed civilians, killing 49 people. He had been not found guilty, but accomplice of those crimes. Avoiding prosecution for more than twenty years after the fall of communism, he eventually got to court in September 2012 and had been sentenced in May 2014 to five years and six months of jail.
But the Metropolitan Court of Appeals set aside the first degree sentence and ordered a new trial in June 2015. As a result of the second trial, Biszku was found guilty once again in December 2015. Although the court sentenced him to two years and three months in prison, the posterior punishment was never implemented due to Biszku’s old age and poor health condition.
He had been the only communist leader involved in the retaliation of 1956’s uprising to be prosecuted. Anti-communist activists, among whom several Jobbik party leaders, expressed their anger toward the successive governments for not having pushed a more active de-communization policy, so such criminals might have lived in peace after the fall of the communist regime.