Home » News » Prosecutor General Dr. Péter Polt releases a video message on the activities of the Prosecution Service in 2020

Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral Dr. Péter Polt has sub­mit­ted to Par­lia­ment the annu­al report about the acti­vi­ti­es of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary and has sum­ma­ri­zed the main find­ings of the report in a video mes­sage.

One of the key find­ings of the report docu­ment­ing the acti­vi­ti­es in 2020 is that, des­pi­te the coro­na­vi­rus pan­de­mic, the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary was ope­rat­ing and wor­king effec­ti­vely owing to legal and tech­ni­cal inno­va­tions. The COVID-19 rest­ric­tive mea­sures and the state of emer­gency, which became effec­tive in March 2020, led to the int­ro­duc­ti­on of new pro­ce­dural rules, dif­fe­rent form the ones set forth by the Hun­ga­ri­an Cri­mi­nal Pro­ce­du­re Code. The role of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce has beco­me highly app­re­cia­ted, since in addi­ti­on to super­vi­sing cri­mi­nal investiga­tions and pro­se­cu­ting cases in court, it has faci­li­ta­ted the speedy comp­le­ti­on of pro­ce­du­res in a way that would pose mini­mum epi­de­mi­o­log­i­cal risks.

Sta­tis­ti­cal data show that the rate of vari­o­us acce­le­ra­ted pro­ce­du­res inc­re­as­ed sig­ni­fi­cantly, close to 66% com­pa­red to the pre­vi­o­us year. This can partly be att­ri­bu­ted to a guide­line issu­ed by the Offi­ce of the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral lay­ing down that in all cases where legal con­di­tions are met, pro­se­cu­to­ri­al motions sho­uld be filed for penal orders. The num­bers veri­fy the succ­ess of this solu­ti­on, as pro­se­cu­tors filed motions for penal orders for almost 72% of the total num­ber of indict­ments. This led to less case back­log in courts, and the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce kept pace with its own sche­dule.

The num­ber of reg­is­te­red cri­mes con­ti­nu­ed to dec­line in 2020 as well, but there are also areas which requ­i­re more attent­ion in the futu­re. The num­ber of comp­le­ted int­ent­io­nal homi­ci­de and attemp­ted homi­ci­de cases inc­re­as­ed. The num­ber of cri­mes rela­ted to human smuggling and the num­ber of cases that can be lin­ked to tech­no­log­i­cal deve­lop­ment such as cash-substitute pay­ment inst­ru­ments, money-laundering or bre­a­ches of infor­ma­ti­on sys­tems or data con­ti­nu­ed to inc­re­a­se.

The need to hand­le cri­mes com­mit­ted by use of infor­ma­ti­on sys­tems in a uni­form way also called for orga­ni­za­ti­o­nal changes and deve­lop­ments in the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce. As a result, the Divi­si­on of Cyberc­ri­me Cases was set up as part of the Depart­ment for Pri­o­rity, Cor­rupt­ion and Orga­ni­zed Crime Cases at the Offi­ce of the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral in 2020.

In line with leg­i­sla­tive int­ent­ions, the for­ma­li­za­ti­on, so called “white­ning” of the eco­nomy has rema­ined to be one of the key pri­o­ri­ti­es for the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce, so spe­ci­al attent­ion is paid to the detec­ti­on of bud­get fra­uds. Alt­ho­ugh the num­ber of these types of crime is dec­li­n­ing, the trend con­ti­nues that such cases are diver­se, their facts and legal issues are comp­lex, and new forms of crime are emer­ging year by year.

The growth in the num­ber of reg­is­te­red cri­mi­nal pro­ce­du­res ini­tia­ted for cor­rupt­ion cri­mes stop­ped; in fact, it slightly drop­ped in 2020.

In 2020, the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce con­ti­nu­ed to pay spe­ci­al attent­ion to the pro­tec­ti­on of the envi­ron­ment in its acti­vi­ti­es con­cer­ning the pro­tec­ti­on of pub­lic inte­rest; the num­ber of mea­sures taken in envi­ron­ment pro­tec­ti­on, natu­re pro­tec­ti­on and ani­mal pro­tec­ti­on cases inc­re­as­ed by more than 43% in com­pa­ri­son with the pre­vi­o­us year. As far as child and juve­ni­le pro­tec­ti­on is con­cer­ned, com­pa­red with 2019, the num­ber of offi­ci­al pro­ce­e­dings ini­tia­ted at guar­di­ans­hip offi­ces to grant a child a ‘pro­tec­ted sta­tus’ inc­re­as­ed sig­ni­fi­cantly by 22%, whe­re­as the num­ber of awareness-rising sig­nals in rest­ra­int cases showed a growth of almost 18%.

Strengt­he­ning inter­na­ti­o­nal coope­ra­ti­on was also an integ­ral part of the acti­vi­ti­es of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce in 2020. In Janu­ary 2020, prior to the int­ro­duc­ti­on of the pan­de­mic mea­sures, the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral, Mr. Péter Polt met the Direc­tor Gene­ral of the Euro­pe­an Anti-Fraud Offi­ce (OLAF), Mr. Ville Itälä in Buda­pest. The tra­di­ti­o­nally excel­lent wor­king rela­ti­onship of the two orga­ni­sa­tions is bac­ked up by the latest data issu­ed by the EU orga­ni­sa­ti­on. Accord­ing to the 2020 report, bet­ween 2016 and 2020, the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary filed indict­ments in 67% of the cases con­cer­ned by judi­ci­al recom­men­da­tions from OLAF, which was a sig­ni­fi­cantly hig­her per­cen­tage than the aver­age in the EU (37%). A coope­ra­ti­on agree­ment to build on this succ­ess is about to be sign­ed.

In 2020, a tech­ni­cal con­sul­ta­ti­on with the Euro­pe­an Pub­lic Prosecutor's Offi­ce (EPPO) star­ted. As a result, this spring the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce of Hun­gary was the first – and so far the only – non-accession count­ry to conc­lu­de a wor­king arrange­ment with EPPO based on mutu­al bene­fits, thus also exp­r­es­sing its int­ent­ion to coope­ra­te.

In the sum­ma­ry of the annu­al report sub­mit­ted to the Par­lia­ment and in his video mes­sage, the Pro­se­cu­tor Gene­ral emp­has­i­zed his con­fi­den­ce in the sup­port of the MPs and that they are inter­es­ted in ensuring that the Hun­ga­ri­an jus­ti­ce sys­tem, inc­lu­ding the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce, func­tions in accor­dance with the law and in the spi­rit of see­king jus­ti­ce, regard­less of their party affi­lia­ti­on.

The 2020 report is ava­i­lab­le on our web­site at the fol­lo­wing link:

Pro­se­cu­tor General's Report on the Acti­vi­ti­es of the Pro­se­cu­ti­on Ser­vi­ce in 2020 (ext­ract)