Hungarian justice ministry says Cacic not exempt from Hungary's jurisdiction
Croatia's First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister, Radimir Cacic, who is charged with causing a fatal car accident in Hungary two years ago in which two persons were killed, is not exempt from Hungary's penal jurisdiction, the Hungarian Ministry of Justice concluded in response to a request by a local court, MTI news agency said on Sunday.
Cacic's trial before the county court in Kaposvar was postponed in April, when Cacic said that a higher court had requested verification of his diplomatic and official status. Cacic was president of the Croatian People's Party (HNS) at the time of the accident and became a government minister last December.
MTI said that the court had suspended the trial and requested an opinion from the Justice Ministry to establish whether Cacic was protected by immunity.
The ministry has concluded that the case is not subject to the Convention on Special Missions, which protects official delegations staying abroad. When he caused the accident, Cacic was visiting Hungary unofficially, without informing the authorities in advance, MTI said.
The case is neither subject to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, because it covers only heads of state and family members accompanying them, the ministry said.
The accident occurred on the Nagykanisza–Budapest motorway in January 2010. Cacic hit a car in front of him which was driven by Katalin Liptak. As a result, her 81-year-old mother Imrene Antal and 60-year-old husband Gyorgy Liptak were killed, while the fourth passenger in their car, Zoltanne Hitter, survived.
Cacic said in his defence that he did not drive too fast, but that he ran into a cloud of fog before hitting the car in front.