On Wednesday, the Municipal Court handed down a life sentence of at least 25 years to the man charged with detonating a bomb in central Budapest in 2016.
The judge also sentenced the defendant to pay 110 million HUF in awarded damages. Gergely P. László has been convicted of attempted homicide, use of explosives and a premeditated terrorist attack targeting authorities.
In the September 24th attack, two police officers were wounded — one sustaining life-threatening injuries — when the bomb exploded beside a shop entrance in Budapest’s central Terez Avenue. Both of the officers suffered permanent hearing loss. The policewoman sustained injuries to her skull and leg when impacted by the 45-100 mm nails used in the attack.
According to statements from P. László ‘s neighbors, he had practiced the bombing by setting off experimental explosives in a forest near to his home in Zala. After the Teréz Körút attack, his neighbors informed police that they had heard the practice explosions, but assumed it was nothing. He had plans to commit another bombing, even going as far as to send threatening emails to the police demanding one million Euros.
The Court learned that László P. had been planning the attack since the end of 2015. Besides practicing in the forest, he prepared explosives, obtained ingredients and attended a technician OKJ (National Qualifications Register) course.
The suspect admitted to the charges brought against him during the investigation but withdrew his confession during the court hearing. He refused to appear in court and his mental health was examined by experts.
Medical experts claim László P. is not legally insane now, nor was he legally insane at the time of the attack. At the end of the first day of the trial, the criminal defense attorney requested a medical examination of the defendant. At first, the defendant told his lawyer that he didn’t want the examination, then again refused to make a statement and withdrew his earlier confession. The judge appointed a mental health expert specializing in autism to examine the alleged bomber.
The defense pleaded for acquittal, while the prosecutors asked for life imprisonment on multiple charges of attempted homicide. The ruling — which can be appealed — was announced in the suspect’s absence.