Fidesz mulls softening criminal suspect detention plans – Lazar

Budapest, June 17 (MTI) – Instead of holding criminal suspects for 48 hours without recourse to a defence lawyer the ruling Fidesz party is now considering a 24-hour rule, Fidesz parliamentary group leader Janos Lazar said on Friday.  

In comments about the so-called “clarity and speed” bill, Lazar told MTI in a statement that there was not tension between the government and party group over the planned changes to the law on criminal procedures. He said people who were on the side of avoiding the swift execution of justice stood by the “criminal-serving” policies of the opposition Socialist party.


Lazar added that the new rules, which have attracted the criticism of legal interest groups and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, were directed towards speeding up criminal procedures in corruption cases involving public figures.


The bill submitted on Tuesday by parliament’s constitutional committee sought to give police the right to keep suspects in detention for up to 120 hours without a judicial review as well as limiting access to a defence lawyer.


Critics have said the bill’s provisions, including a ban on access to a defence lawyer in the first 48 hours of preliminary detention, run contrary to international agreements and EU rules in the making.

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