(HU) Roma killings suspects linked to security services

Roma killings in Hungary: In Hungary within the last few years, six Roma, including a five-year-old boy, have been murdered by unknown gunman.

The killings struck fear and terror into the million Gypsies living in Hungary and prompted the greatest manhunt by police, even aided by profilers from the U.S. American FBI.

Four suspects were arrested in 2009 in connection with the serial killings and the case was transferred to the Pest County Court in August 2010, after the investigation.

The four are charged with murdering six Roma in nine predominantly Gypsy villages, and injuring another five.

In the raids they allegedly fired 78 shots and threw four firebombs, endangering the lives of 55 others. They are facing charges of premeditated murder, arms control violations and stealing weapons.

During the period of killings it was widely assumed that the murderers were some neo-fascist activists and was suggested that the Hungarian Guard may have involvement but the investigation unearthed some uncomfortable facts; possible involvement of state security services with political affiliation.

Hungarian Daily Magyar Hirlap reported this week that the four suspects' trial begins at the Pest County Court next March.

The Hungarian Defence Ministry first had denied but later admitted that murder suspect Cs.Istvan had served in the Military Intelligence Service (KBH). Cs.Istvan is accused of being the driver at two of the Gypsy murders.

Furthermore, a second suspect, K.Istvan who is accused of the murder of three Roma was formerly a Security Service informer. A third suspect, according to the newspaper Magyar Hirlap, also had ties with the law enforcement services.

Quite shockingly, after the group had been on the radar of the secret services, they were removed from the watchlist when they began to source and acquire guns for the attacks (!).

Ervin Demeter, the new Fidesz government's Security Services chief has since stated that the previous Socialist MSzP government's intelligence services could have prevented at least some of the gypsy murders.

Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap also suggests that the Intelligence Services may have known about the Roma killings at the time.

Naturally, it also brings up the question of possible involvement of the previous Socialist administration: was the lack of action by the security services an attempt to discredit their opponents and boost the Socialist party's crumbling support at the polls?