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Parliament Votes to Channel Prison Compensation to Crime Victims

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.12.16.

Parliament on Wednesday approved a bill by Justice Minister Judit Varga which allows preference to be given to the victims of crime when it comes to compensations for prison overcrowding, ahead of the prisoners themselves.

The proposal was approved with 153 votes in support and 13 abstentions.

Varga said in the justification of the proposal that, in line with current regulations, the victims of crime and their relatives often received only small amounts of compensation — in contrast to the significant sums paid to inmates.

Prison Compensations: Two Major Changes in Legislation in 4 Years
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The parliamentary debate is now over about the compensation system for prisoners because of the conditions they are kept in. The ruling parties majority has voted to suspend compensations. The case has been making headlines since PM Orbán’s year-opening press briefing. Although government politicians have since been calling the issue simply “prison business,” blaming the “Soros network” […]Continue reading

She said an “abuse of compensation lawsuits” linked to prison overcrowding had been revealed, and these “severely violated the sense of justice by members of the public”. In certain cases, perpetrators of crimes that deeply shocked the public ended up receiving millions of forints in compensation, while the victims of crime were unable to enforce their interests effectively, she added.

Justice ministry state secretary Pál Völner said after the vote that the new law would put an end to what is commonly referred to as “prison business” which, he said, had turned into an enterprise making billions of forints. Over the past three years, convicted perpetrators and their lawyers, abusing the regulations, gained over ten billion forints by taking the state to court for prison overcrowding.

Hungary Introduces Stricter Parole Rules
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Parliament unanimously passed an amendment on Tuesday under which convicts sentenced for murder cannot be released on parole. Under the changes, parole can be granted in exceptional cases, but these do not include homicide. According to the new package of amendments submitted by Justice Minister Judit Varga, offenders who have committed a violent crime to […]Continue reading

In line with the amended regulations, the compensation payments must be first of all used to pay victims of crime and the remainder can only be paid directly to an account of the recipient of compensation, not to their lawyers.

Featured photo illustration by János Vajda/MTI