BUDAPEST (Oct. 30)
The Hungarian Supreme Court has acquitted a Hungarian neo-Nazi leader who was charged with inciting racial hatred.
In reading Monday’s verdict, the judge said Albert Szabo and four co-defendants had not broken any of the laws under which they had been charged.
The court upheld a March ruling from a lower court. That ruling had prompted the state prosecutor to announce that he would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
Szabo’s trial began in November, after he and his followers were charged with wearing Nazi uniforms and with displaying Nazi flags and other symbols at public demonstrations.
His acquittal in March led the Hungarian Parliament to enact a new, tougher law regarding hate speech and incitement toward racial hatred.
Legal observers said Szabo might be tried under the new law after he made public pronouncements against Hungary’s Jews last month.
Szabo fled Hungary in 1956 when the country was under Communist rule.
When he returned here some five years ago, he founded the World National Popular Rule Party, which was patterned after the wartime Arrow Cross Party of Ferenc Szalasi.
Hungary had a prewar Jewish population of nearly 1 million. About 90 percent of the Jews fell victim to the Holocaust under the Szalasi regime.
Szalasi, a Hitler collaborator, was executed after World War II as a war criminal.