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Legal environment favours armed robbers

Hungary's legal environment could have helped armed robbers that stole Ft 100 million (€ 370,000) earlier this week, national daily Népszabadság said on Friday. The paper argued that László Varga - suspected of having been involved in robbery of a major Budapest shopping mall, MOM Park on Monday - could have committed the crime because he had been released from pre-trial detention with respect to an earlier criminal hearing for the court had not been able to reach a ruling. A 2003 law stipulates that pre-trial detention is terminated after three years if legal proceedings fail to result in a primary ruling within that period. Socialist MP Pál Vastagh, chairman of parliament's legal committee, told the paper that the purpose of the act was actually to prevent procedures from becoming too lengthy and a penal procedure "is supposed to be completed within three years". (MTI)