Hungary’s president resigns after backlash for pardon in child sex abuse case

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The president of Hungary stepped down connected Saturday pursuing backlash to her pardon of a man who had been convicted of concealing intersexual maltreatment of children.

Katalin Novák, 46, delivered a televised connection connected Saturday that she would propulsion successful nan towel aft a Friday thoroughfare protestation against her pardoning decision. 

"I issued a pardon that caused bewilderment and unrest for galore people," Novák said Saturday.

Novák has served arsenic president since 2022 and was nan erstwhile family curate nether blimpish Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.


"I made a determination to assistance a pardon past April, believing that nan convict did not maltreatment nan vulnerability of children whom he had overseen. I made a correction arsenic nan pardon and nan deficiency of reasoning were suitable to trigger doubts complete nan zero tolerance that applies to pedophilia," Novák said.

According to Reuters, at slightest 1,000 group protested successful Hungary's capital, Budapest, connected Friday demanding nan resignation of Novák over her determination to pardon a man convicted arsenic an accomplice for helping screen up a activity maltreatment lawsuit successful a children's home.

Novák was successful Doha astatine nan clip of nan protest, according to a post connected her X account. 

She posted a connection connected X to her complete 121,000 followers astir her gathering successful Doha regarding the World Aquatic Championships. Novák did not reside nan pardon connected X. She was forced to trim short her travel to Qatar and return to Budapest to reside nan mushrooming scandal.

Novák had decided to pardon immoderate 2 twelve group successful April 2023, up of a sojourn by Pope Francis, among them nan lawman head of a children's location who had helped nan erstwhile head of nan location hide his crimes.

The head was sentenced to 8 years successful situation for sexually abusing respective under-age boys from 2004 to 2016. The lawman head had been sentenced to much than 3 years.

Fox News Digital's requests for remark to Hungary’s authorities were not instantly returned.

Hungarian guidance parties besides demanded Novák’s resignation. Protesters held signs stating, "Resign" astatine nan Friday demonstration. "Resignation would beryllium a very correct point to do," said Bela Sedan, 53, who useful arsenic a carpenter.

"Someone who makes a correction for illustration this should spell distant and not correspond maine arsenic president of nan Hungarian Republic."

Trying to incorporate nan governmental fallout from nan scandal, Orban, whose Fidesz statement is opening nan run for European Parliament elections successful June, submitted a law amendment to parliament precocious connected Thursday depriving nan president of nan correct to pardon crimes committed against children.

"The pardoning determination of nan president of nan republic has prompted a debate. This statement must beryllium closed successful a measurement that reassures each Hungarians," nan matter of nan measure says.

On Saturday, Orban's erstwhile justness minister, Judit Varga — who was expected to lead Fidesz's database for nan elections, and who had besides signed disconnected connected nan pardon — said connected Facebook that she would measurement down arsenic a Fidesz MP, taking work for nan decision.

Orban and Fidesz won a stunning fourth-term predetermination victory successful 2022.

"The full world tin spot that our marque of Christian democratic, conservative, patriotic authorities has won," Orbán told his supporters aft his 2022 victory. He added, "We are sending Europe a connection that this is not nan past – this is nan future."


In October, Orban compared Hungary’s rank successful nan European Union to nan over forty years of Soviet communist business of Hungary. Orban, who advocates accepted values, promotes a argumentation of restricted migration and is opposed to nan absorption of migrants and refugees from nan Middle East and North Africa.

AP and Reuters contributed to this report.