Hi to all Ágnes Supporters,
It is good to be able to write about some further positive news for Ágnes, which came through earlier this month.
On, March 9th, the Budapest Municipal Court of Appeal ordered a retrial in the case of the shoulder dystocia death which was one of the cases ruled upon in February 2012, where Ágnes was found guilty of professional negligence and given a 2-year prison sentence. This sentence had subsequently been "delayed" pending a final decision in the matter by the President of Hungary when all other court cases against Ágnes have been completed. When this retrial decision was made public her lawyer, Gábor Papp, said the case will now be returned to the original lower court for retrial "after an investigation was launched last summer to clarify the discrepancy between two (medical) expert opinions, one of which had established negligence and the other, which had not". Mr Papp has stated publicly his belief that Ágnes should be acquitted based on the latter opinion.
The first medical expert opinion against Ágnes had been presented in the original 2011/2012 court trial, and unfortunately no medical expert on the court's " expert list" had been prepared to come forward and testify in support of Ágnes's professional actions. However, post the trial an expert did present himself and in 2014 he submitted his opinion to the court in support of Ágnes's professional actions in the shoulder dystocia case. Faced with the existence of two conflicting opinions the Appeal Court nominated a 3rd medical expert to review both opinions and to advise them of his findings. The Court of Appeal, with his findings to hand, found in favour of ordering the retrial of this shoulder dystocia case, and it is expected that the retrial will commence later this year.
Coming just over a year after Ágnes's house arrest restrictions were lifted and less severe regional ones imposed, it is further evidence of Ágnes's own determination, and that of her legal team and her national and international supporters, to fight every step of the way to prove her innocence in all criminal charges laid against her. The separate current cases against Ágnes continue to be processed through the courts as I write, and we are expecting them to be ruled upon later this year. Of course, it remains a great sense of frustration for everyone involved in supporting Ágnes and the rights of independent midwives and birthing mothers, that it is taking such an extended and offensive length of time to adjudicate on these cases. Some occurred back in 2010 and caused Ágnes to be imprisoned and subsequently held under severe house arrest conditions for nearly four years. Yet, here we are in 2015, still awaiting the machinations of the Hungarian Justice System to deliver it's verdict. Clearly, the State Prosecution Service have been able to play a clever game in effectively putting a sentence on Ágnes's life without having a court decision to back it up. They have had full control around the timing of putting their cases together and deciding when to bring them before the court, encouraged in the knowledge they already had Ágnes severely controlled by the unjust house arrest conditions in place. This is a hard reality that Ágnes has had to deal with for many years now, so securing this important decision in her favour provides a welcome boost to Ágnes and her fine legal team.
In finishing, may I take this opportunity on behalf of Ágnes, to again thank you all for your consistent support for her and I will continue to be in contact with updates, or with requests for specific action from you, depending on how matters progress in the remainder of this year.
With warmest regards and sincere thanks,
Justice Campaign for Ágnes Geréb