Party wants Hungarian assailants "pardoned"

The Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM) demanded on Tuesday from President Boris Tadić to pardon a group of ethnic Hungarians convicted in 2004.

Source: B92, Tanjug

They were found guilty of brutally beating a young man in a northern Serbian town, who died for unspecified reasons in 2009.

The reason why the so-called Temerinska Group should be pardoned now, said the party, was "to show that double standards were unacceptable in the judiciary".

The SVM presidency was prompted to make the statement by a recent ruling of the Court of Appeals in Belgrade which reduced the sentence for a group of hooligans found guilty of killing a French football fan in Belgrade in 2009.

Their sentences were commuted from 240 to 115 years in prison.

"Following the ruling of the Court of Appeals, there can no longer be any reasons to justify the continuation of the extremely heavy penalties imposed on a group of young Hungarians from Temerin several years ago," the SVM said in a statement.

In 2005, the five ethnic Hungarian nationality were convicted to a total of 61 years in prison for the attempted murder of Zoran Petrović in Temerin, a town in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina.

The attack was characterized as "bestial", because the group tortured their victim after a minor brawl in a local tavern by beating him, urinating on him, and raping him with a large stick. Petrović was found unconscious, two days after the attack.

As a political organization, the SVM has no legal right to seek pardons from the country's president.


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