While it was well known that Novak had pardoned some two dozen people ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Hungary in April 2023, it was only recently disclosed that one of the people who benefitted from the measure was the deputy director of a children’s home who was convicted for covering up for a sexual predator who preyed on its residents.
Novak this week acknowledged that all pardons were divisive, but insisted that she would never pardon a pedophile.
In a bid to quell popular anger linked to the case, Orbán’s Fidesz party on Thursday submitted a constitutional amendment to bar future pardons from in any way benefitting people convicted of committing crimes against children.
Novak was in Qatar attending the Hungary-Kazakhstan match at the World Water Polo Championship and was scheduled to remain in the Gulf state through the weekend.
However, Hungarian media on Saturday reported that her plane had taken off ahead of schedule and appeared to be en route back to Budapest. Hungarian authorities did not clarify if the president had cut her trip short and, if so, why.