Drax Disappointed By Delay In Turner Trial
2:22pm 19th June 2012
(Updated 2:24pm 19th June 2012)
Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, has said how disappointed he is that the Budapest trial of his constituent Michael Turner has been adjourned until November.
The trial first opened on February 29th, was adjourned until June 7th and has now been delayed again until mid November. The Judge has said that this will allow time to find further witnesses and allow another audit of the company’s books.
Richard Drax has pledged his support and will return to Hungary with the family in November. He says his fervent hope is that the delay will allow the Judge time to make an unassailable verdict.
“We are told that if the Judge ruled now, the prosecution would automatically appeal, which would lead to a retrial in two years,” he says. “The Judge has asked for further research now because he wants to ensure that there can be no cause for an appeal when he finally hands down his verdict.”
“When I gave a character reference for Michael in the Budapest court two weeks ago, I was reassured by the Judge that the trial would be fair and that if there was any doubt at all, he would not convict.”
“We must trust that this is so. However, I am disturbed to learn that 97 per cent of all prosecutions in Hungary are successful and that prosecutors can appeal an innocent verdict without grounds. This alone is enough to make the European Arrest Warrant – which assumes all legal systems are the same – completely farcical. I cannot imagine how our European masters thought that there was any equivalency at all between our two legal systems. ”
Michael Turner was charged with fraud together with his business partner Jason Mcgoldrick, after their holiday business failed in 2005. They were extradited to Hungary in 2009, after a British judge said that he was compelled to accept the extradition warrant, despite there being no charges.
Turner was imprisoned by the Hungarian authorities for 115 days without charge in a former KGB jail, as soon as he returned to Budapest. He was finally released in February 2010, when the prosecution was unable to show any supporting evidence for the EAW.
Despite this, an indictment was issued and Michael’s court case eventually began this year.