PM nominates new Justice Minister in wake of police scandals
The PM last Thursday nominated Albert Takács, former deputy ombudsman for Citizens’ Rights, as Minister for Justice and Law Enforcement following his predecessor stepping down after a string of scandals. József Petrétei resigned the previous Sunday after a week in which an alleged rape by on-duty officers, a cop stealing cash from a crime scene and allegations of motorway police taking kickbacks made headlines. National Police Chief László Bene and Budapest Police Chief Péter Gergényi both quit at the same time, although PM Ferenc Gyurcsány effectively sacked them by calling for their resignations. As he asked the men to step down, the PM said he could defend the police from politically motivated accusations relating to last year’s anti-government riots, but that he “could not defend them from themselves”. Petrétei came under no public pressure to resign.