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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Hungary’s president resigns over a pardon to a man convicted in a child sexual abuse case

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s conservative president has resigned amid public outcry over a pardon she granted to a man convicted as an accomplice in a child sexual abuse case, a decision that unleashed an unprecedented political scandal for the long-serving nationalist government.

Katalin Novák, 46, announced in a televised message on Saturday that she would step down from the presidency, an office she has held since 2022.

Her decision came after more than a week of public outrage after it was revealed that she issued a presidential pardon in April 2023 to a man convicted of hiding a string of child sexual abuses in a state-run children’s home.

“I issued a pardon that caused bewilderment and unrest for many people,” Novák said on Saturday. “I made a mistake.”

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