The former Hungarian ambassador to Peru, Gábor Kaleta, plead guilty to child pornography charges at his preliminary hearing on Wednesday. He was sentenced to suspended prison time and was fined HUF 540,000 (EUR 1,535), Blikk reports.
In his speech, Kaleta’s lawyer revealed that the former diplomat already lost 30 kilos due to the stress and guilt of his situation, adding that in his view he should only be fined.
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“He has lived an exemplary life of a lawyer in which he created a diplomatic career and through this, he has served his country. He is a deeply religious man who regularly exercises his faith,” said the lawyer about his defendant, who he said feels huge remorse.
In his short speech, according to Hungarian tabloid Blikk, Kaleta said that the incident has severely torn him and his family up; his parents were getting phone calls from unknown persons, and the company where he got a job was also being harassed. “I experience this kind of pressure to the extent that it has made my life quite difficult,” he said.
Due to the novel coronavirus epidemic, the court sentenced him without a hearing to a suspended prison sentence in May, based on the evidence collected during the investigation. But the prosecutor’s office considered the verdict too lenient and appealed for a more severe sentence.
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The court ultimately sentenced Kaleta to a suspended prison sentence of one year and fined him HUF 540,000.
In his justification, the judge emphasized that the current regulation only allows for imprisonment from three months up to three years.
Since the prosecutor’s motion was for Kaleta to be given a one year sentence suspended for three years should the defendant confess, the court could not have imposed a more severe penalty even if they saw fit. Finally, the judge suspended the sentence for two years and six months.
The court agreed with the prosecution that there was no need for enforceable imprisonment, given the mitigating and aggravating circumstances. The verdict was subject to appeal, with both the prosecution and the defense requesting a three-day reflection period.
The prosecution filed charges against Kaleta in November 2019. It was news site Index that broke the story of the former Hungarian ambassador to Peru who had been brought to Hungary in complete secrecy last spring, after more than 19,000 under-18 pornography photos had been found on his electronic devices amid an international operation. Later, the parliamentary report of his case was sealed for ten years.
Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI