JERUSALEM (Oct. 20)
Israel was under diplomatic attack today from another Communist source as the Government of Hungary threatened to pare Israel’s diplomatic staff in Budapest over the refusal of Israeli authorities to halt criminal proceedings against a Hungarian actor charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl in Tel Aviv.
The Israel Foreign Ministry revealed tonight that the Hungarian Government has ordered it to recall three members of the Israel legation in Budapest. On October 14, Israel’s Minister in Budapest was summoned to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and told that unless the actor, Zoltan Greguss, were released by today half of Israel’s legation staff would be ousted.
The Israel Foreign Ministry subsequently summoned the Hungarian Minister in Tel Aviv and informed him that Israel had been shocked by the Hungarian reprisal threats and resented Hungary’s turning the matter into a political issue. Israel, however, has not backed down on bringing Mr. Greguss to trial. He was arrested September 10, had a preliminary hearing a week later and has been released on bail. Hungary was informed that it would be granted full opportunity to observe the trial.
Meanwhile, copies of the Hungarian Communist Party newspaper “Nepszabadsag” reaching here carry an interview with Mrs. Greguss, who did not join her husband on his current tour of Israel, charging that the actor had been arrested because he refused to perform an anti-Communist role in Israel.