RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE 23 December 1999
HUNGARIAN COURT APPROVES EXTRADITION OF FUGITIVE RUSSIAN
BUSINESSMAN. A Budapest court on 22 December approved the
extradition of fugitive Russian businessman Anatolii Bykov,
AP reported citing Hungarian media. Bykov's lawyers appealed
the decision and the Justice Minster will now have to decide
on the case. Bykov was arrested in October on an
international warrant, as he entered Hungary from Yugoslavia.
He is wanted in Russia on suspicion of money laundering, gun
trafficking and complicity to murder, and Russia last month
asked Hungary to extradite him. MS
HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER REFUSES TO BLAME COALITION PARTNER.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban on 22 December said he refuses to
blame the Smallholders' Party coalition partner for the
failure of the the parliament to approve the bill on the
privatization of medical practices. One day earlier, the
Smallholders' parliamentary group walked out of the chamber
before voting, thus enabling the opposition to defeat it.
Orban said Smallholders' leader Jozsef Torgyan "firmly
backed" the bill in the cabinet (see "RFE/RL Newsline, 22
December 1999). According to "Nepszabadsag," however, Torgyan
has bitterly complained in private that million of forints
are earmarked for privatizing medical practices, but no
surplus funds are allocated to regional development, of which
he is in charge. Health Minster Arpad Gogl ironically said he
hopes the bill can pass in the spring "unless the
Smallholders hold a caucus meeting at that time." MS
SERBIAN DRAFT RESISTERS FEEL ABANDONED. London's "The
Guardian" published an article on 22 December on the plight
of dozens of young Serbian males in Hungary "who feel
abandoned by everyone," the BBC's Serbian Service reported.
The young men fled to Hungary to avoid being conscripted into
Milosevic's genocidal campaign in Kosova earlier in 1999.
They now feel abandoned by the international community,
although they still face punishment in Serbia as "deserters
and traitors." PM
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