The Constitutional Court has left in place stipulations in the penal code which ban the denial of crimes committed both under Nazi or Communist regimes.
In a ruling published on the top court’s website on Tuesday, the body threw out objections by a lower court concerning charges against former Communist leader Bela Biszku.
In a public statement in 2010, Biszku referred to the events of 1956 as a counter-revolution and a national tragedy.
The prosecutor charged Biszku with publicly belittling the crimes of a totalitarian regime, but the relevant court threw out the procedure, saying that the stipulations applied by the prosecutor ran against the constitution, harmed legal safety and restricted the freedom of expression.
In its ruling passed on Monday, the Constitutional Court said that the stipulations were “a necessary and proportionate restriction of the freedom of expression.” According to the court’s reasoning, denying the crimes of Nazism or Communism hurts the dignity of both the victims of those regimes and of all democrats associating with them. Public denial of those crimes could also lead to the disturbance of public order, the court said in defence of the contested stipulations.
As a member of the steering bodies of the Communist Party and as interior minister between 1957 and 1961, Biszku was one of the officials that led Communist retaliation after the anti-Soviet revolt.