The Regional Court of Appeal has increased the prison term given by the first instance court, sentencing two district office heads to three years of imprisonment and a three-year ban from public office for accepting bribes to influence a land office procedure, the Appellate Chief Prosecution Offices informed MTI on Tuesday. According to the statement, the two defendants may be granted parole after serving half of their prison sentence.
The statement recalled that in February 2020, the Central Chief Prosecution Office of Investigation pressed charges against two leaders of a Northern Hungarian district office for corruption offences. The officials had requested a bribe of four million forints from the director of a company involved in a highway construction project to unlawfully influence the land office procedure in the second half of 2018.
In the October 2022 judgment of the Regional Court, both defendants were found guilty of accepting bribes as accomplices in the crime of bribing a public official. They were sentenced to two and five years of suspended imprisonment, respectively, along with a fine of four million forints. They were also banned from entering civil service for three years, as stated in the press release. With its binding decision, the Regional Court of Appeal has now increased the initial sentence to three years of imprisonment and imposed a three-year ban on the defendants from the exercise of public affairs.
The Prosecution Service of Hungary
The Prosecution Service of Hungary primarily deals with criminal cases, ensuring that acts harmful to social co-existence trigger legal consequence. Another important goal of the work of the Prosecution Service is to make sure that crime victims receive some form of protection and remedy. Although in most criminal cases the police is the investigative authority, the Prosecution Service also has the right to investigate.
In case of certain crimes, such as bribing a public official, or in criminal offences committed by public officials (for example by Members of Parliament, judges, prosecutors, policemen, military personnel), only the Prosecution Service has the authority to investigate.
Investigations of the Prosecution Service are carried out by specialised prosecution offices of investigation. Besides duties and activities related to criminal law, the Prosecution Service also deals with cases outside the criminal law field. The Prosecution Service has duties and responsibilities in protecting the public interest and in supervising the legality of the execution of punishments. At the same time, the Prosecution Service works towards guaranteeing the fulfilment of the social objective of punishments, namely to prevent the convicted persons from committing a crime again.