news letterOur mobile application

Weekly newsletter

Hundreds Demonstrate with Yellow Roses Against Re-examination of ‘Lye Doctor’ Case

Fanni Kaszás 2019.11.05.

Krisztián Bene, also known as the ‘lye doctor,’ was sentenced last year to 11 years in prison. According to the verdict, he burned his ex-girlfriend’s genitalia and abdomen with industrial strength lye and left the unconscious victim alone. Last week, the doctor filed a constitutional complaint, claiming he was caused irreparable damage during the trial and requested the re-examination of the case. The Constitutional Court is hearing the complaint today and yesterday hundreds of people gathered with yellow roses to protest for the victim, Erika Renner.

The Constitutional Court is hearing the complaint of the doctor today on November 5th. Yesterday, hundreds of women and men gathered with yellow roses (an international symbol of the fight against domestic violence) for a peaceful protest against the release of the “lye doctor” and laid the roses in front of the courthouse to remind members of the body:

[the release] would be a horrible message to all victims, their relatives, and to society as a whole.

The peaceful demonstration, organized by the Facebook group “Nem tehetsz róla, tehetsz ellene” (You can’t help it, you can fight against it), was held on the eve of Krisztián Bene’s constitutional lawsuit. The crowd of about 300 people gathered in Clark Ádám Square, where the three organizers, Vera Mérő, Éva Péterfy-Novák, and Éva Szentesi, gave short speeches.

photo: Márton Mónus/MTI

Originally, demonstrators would have marched to the Constitutional Court building on Donáti Street, but the Court announced on Monday that it would begin the renovation of the building on Monday, which was “due for decades.” Therefore, the protesters’ route led from Clark Ádám Square to Kossuth Square, the Court’s temporary headquarters.

In a case lasting several years, the Curia (the Supreme Court of Justice) sentenced Krisztián Bene 11 years in prison for life-threatening bodily harm and other crimes last July. According to the verdict, in March 2013, the doctor burnt the genitalia and lower body of his ex-girlfriend, Erika Renner, with industrial strength lye, then dragged the unconscious victim to the bathroom, took her phone and laptop, locked the door and left her. The Curia decided that, in addition to the attack being pre-meditated, the “particularly nasty purpose” and the offense, they also take into account that the attack could have ended with the death of Renner. It caused serious and permanent damage to the woman; whose life was indirectly endangered. An aggravating circumstance was that the accused had committed the crime in violation of his medical oath.

photo: Márton Mónus/MTI

However, on behalf of Krisztián Bene, a lawyer filed a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court. He argued that the Curia’s citation and judgment had been unconstitutional and requested that the final judgment be quashed and that the case be re-examined. According to the petitioner, Krisztián Bene was deprived of the right to a substantive review. In the petition for review, Krisztián Bene’s legal representative not only filed a constitutional complaint but also requested the suspension of his sentence, which means that he may be released for the re-examination of the case.

The complaint is based on the fact that before the last ruling of the case (July 2018) at the Curia, the old Criminal Procedure Law was in force, but at the time of the final and binding verdict, the new one was in force. While the new law did not allow for a change of offence or evaluation in the second instance, the old one would.  According to several legal experts, Bene’s complaint is legitimate and there is a realistic chance that he will be released.

featured photo: Márton Mónus/MTI