Justice Minister rejects police chief's request for early retirement

Parliament

Hungary's Justice Minister has refused to sign Budapest police chief Péter Gergényi's request for early retirement, a government spokesperson said on Monday.

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány met police chief Péter Gergényi, today and told him that he did not support his request and advised Justice Minister József Petrétei not to sign it, Emese Danks said. Gergényi has acknowledged the decision and will remain in his post, Danks added. Gergényi became the butt of anger and criticism “mainly on from the opposition ranks” for the way police handled riots in October. Many accused the police of using excessive force and failing to keep violent protesters away from a peaceful opposition demonstration on October 23. At the same time, Gergényi has been given vigorous support by Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky, who urged him not to retire early, saying the fact that crime had gone down considerably in the capital over the past few years had been largely down to Gergényi's professionalism and leadership. Mti)

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