Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 166, Part II, 26 August 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 166, Part II, 26 August 1999

A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern
Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by the
staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

This is Part II, a compilation of news concerning Central,
Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Part I covers Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia and is distributed
simultaneously as a second document. Back issues of RFE/RL
Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest are online at RFE/RL's Web
site: http://www.rferl.org/newsline

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER DENIES IRREDENTIST GOALS

* BOSNIAN SERBS ABANDON VIENNA CONFERENCE

* KOUCHNER RULES OUT 'CANTONIZATION' OF KOSOVA

End Note: HUNGARY'S MOST CELEBRATED CRIMINAL
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION DEFINES POSITION FOR TALKS WITH REGIME.
At a 25 August meeting of opposition parties, the Belarusian
Popular Front (BNF) proposed two preconditions for the OSCE-
mediated talks with the authorities, RFE/RL Belarusian
Service reported. First, during the preparations for the
talks, it wants the authorities to stop any activities aimed
at uniting Belarus and Russia. Second, it wants a deadline
set for completing the negotiation process in order to
prevent the authorities from carrying on an "endless
imitation of the talks." Meanwhile, OSCE Minsk mission head
Hans Georg Wieck has said the negotiation initiative "faces
significant difficulties." Wieck was commenting on Minsk's
stance that the talks should be conducted on the basis of the
political status quo established by President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka after the 1996 referendum (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
23 and 24 August 1999). JM

UKRAINIAN SPEAKER CALLS FOR CABINET RESIGNATION.
Parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko said on 25 August
that the legislature should reconsider the issue of the
cabinet's resignation, UNIAN reported. Tkachenko added that
in July he voted against dismissing the government because he
did not want "to upset the balance between Ukraine's branches
of power at harvest time." Now, however, Tkachenko believes
that the cabinet "pays absolutely no attention to national
economic issues but is wholly engaged in the president's
election campaign." Tkachenko criticized Prime Minister
Valeriy Pustovoytenko for his involvement in the campaign.
"Pustovoytenko was appointed prime minister to head the
government...and not the [pro-presidential] Zlahoda
association," the speaker said. JM

UKRAINE'S GRAIN CROP NEARS LAST YEAR'S LEVEL. As of 25
August, Ukraine harvested 21.1 million tons of grain,
compared with 22.5 million tons by the same date last year,
the "Eastern Economic Daily" reported, quoting an
agricultural official. Premier Pustovoytenko predicted last
week that this year's grain yield may exceed 27 million tons,
some 500,000 tons more than in 1998. JM

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT URGES FASTER EU EXPANSION. At the
conclusion of a visit to Tallinn by Polish President
Aleksander Kwasniewski, Lennart Meri called on the EU to
accelerate the process of expansion, Interfax reported on 25
August. "History is how developing faster than politics," he
said, adding that "politics is developing faster than
European institutions." He noted that Estonia will also "do
its best" to join NATO as well, saying that the inclusion of
his country into these Western institutions would " encourage
the democratic aspirations of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine."
PG

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENTARY SESSION CANCELED. The ruling coalition
succeeded in denying the opposition a quorum to hold an
extraordinary session of the Estonian parliament on 25 August
to consider imposing import tariffs on agricultural products,
Baltic agencies reported. Fifty-one deputies are needed for
such a session, but only 44 deputies--all members of the
opposition--were present. The government coalition maintains
that its program for helping the agricultural sector is
sufficient and that further measures are unnecessary. The
session was also scheduled to discuss enabling legislation
for Estonia's membership in the World Trade Organization. AB

OSCE OFFICIAL SAYS RUSSIANS SHOULD LEARN LATVIAN, BECOME
LATVIAN CITIZENS. LETA reported on 25 August that OSCE High
Commissioner on National Minorities Max van der Stoel met
with several senior Latvian officials during a one-day visit
to Riga. After talks with President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Van
der Stoel said he hopes that more Russian speakers will take
advantage of their rights to Latvian citizenship. He also met
with Prime Minister Andris Skele, Education Minister Silva
Golde, and officials of the Citizenship and Migration Board.
Van der Stoel told journalists later that it is in the
interests of Russian-speakers in Latvia to learn Latvian,
thereby aiding their naturalization and helping them
integrate into Latvian society. He also pledged to help
secure the $1.3 million needed to fully fund a UN-financed
Latvian-language training program. MJZ

LATVIAN GOVERNMENT WILL NOT DELAY PENSIONS. Prime Minister
Andris Skele told LETA on 25 August that the government will
not allow any delays in the payment of pensions. Skele called
on the 600,000 retirees who will not be affected by the
recently adopted amendments to the pension law not to support
the proposed referendum that seeks to restore payments to
working seniors. The pension fund is financed in part through
the sale of eurobonds. Skele said that if the proposed
"referendum on the pension law succeeds, it is likely that we
will have to take out more loans." AB

ADAMKUS RESPONDS TO HISTORICAL COMMISSION. ELTA reported that
Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus on 25 August promised to
provide access to all necessary documentation for the
international commission probing the crimes committed by the
Nazi and Soviet occupation regimes in Lithuania. The previous
day, the commission's leaders had voiced serious criticism of
government ministries that have denied the commission access
to such documents. According to commission staff, "the
president gave his word to remove the problems that have
arisen." AB

POLAND'S RADICAL FARMERS WANT TO OUST CABINET, FORM 'THIRD
FORCE.' The radical farmers' union Self-Defense has called on
the government to resign and the parliament to disband
itself, PAP reported on 25 August. Self-Defense leader
Andrzej Lepper threatened that if the government and the
parliament fail to do so, a "social protest" against
government policy can be expected. Self-Defense has begun to
form a Self-Defense Peasant-National Bloc and has asked the
opposition Polish Peasant Party to join it. According to
Lepper, the block would be a "third force" in the elections.
JM

CZECH PRESIDENT DEPLORES SERB EXODUS FROM KOSOVA.
Addressing the situation in Kosova, Vaclav Havel told
journalists on 25 August that the attacks on Serbs, Roma,
and members of nationalities other than the Albanian one is
"a tragedy." Havel said that the departure of Serbs from
the region is "a disaster," but he emphasized that KFOR
peace keeping forces cannot be blamed for it. "Unlike the
expulsion of the Albanians, which was part of state policy
and organized from the [Yugoslav] center, the exodus of the
Serbs is not part of state policy or of the policies of
international organizations," Havel said. He added that the
Serb exodus could have been prevented by the presence of
more KFOR units but "NATO countries lacked the courage" to
deploy more troops. MS

CZECH GOVERNMENT APPROVES BILL ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT. The
government on 25 August approved a bill on "self-governing
regions," CTK reported. Under the bill, those regions are
to be set up as of 1 January 2000. Regional governments
will have between 40 and 60 members, depending on the size
of the region. The cabinet also approved a timetable for
introducing visa requirements for CIS citizens. Starting
next month, those requirements are to be introduced
gradually. The abolition of visa-free agreements with
Romania, Bulgaria, and Cuba is still being examined. MS

SLOVAK OPPOSITION FAILS TO OUST MINISTER. Only 40 out of
the 114 deputies present voted in favor of a motion to
dismiss Pal Csaky, deputy premier in charge of minority and
human rights issues. The motion was submitted by the
opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), which
blames Csaky for the exodus of Slovak Roma to Finland,
saying he neglected the Romany problem because he was
preoccupied by Hungarian minority issues. HZDS deputies
criticized the participation of the Hungarian Coalition
Party in the government coalition, saying that party is
attempting to revive a "Greater Hungary," CTK reported on
25 August. MS

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER DENIES IRREDENTIST GOALS. "Border
revisions do not figure in the Hungarian government's
agenda in any way," Viktor Orban told Hungarian Radio on 25
August. He said he does not feel it is necessary to
distance himself from the irredentist aspirations of the
extreme-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 23 August 1999), arguing that the party has no
political influence in Hungary. He noted that responding to
its calls for the annexation of parts of Vojvodina would
only trigger polemics that would harm the country. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN SERBS ABANDON VIENNA CONFERENCE. The Bosnian Serb
delegation stopped participating in an OSCE-sponsored
military conference in Vienna soon after army chief-of-staff
General Momir Talic's arrest there on 25 August (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 25 August 1999). Talic later arrived in The Hague.
The war crimes tribunal had secretly indicted him for crimes
against humanity in conjunction with ethnic cleansing of the
Prijedor and Sanski Most areas in 1992. At that time, Talic
commanded the First Krajina Corps. NATO forces in Bosnia
arrested former Bosnian Serb Deputy Prime Minister Radoslav
Brdjanin on similar charges in July. Talic's arrest in
Austria is the first of a major war criminal outside the
former Yugoslavia. BBC Television reported on 26 August that
top NATO peacekeepers, including General Sir Mike Jackson,
often met with Talic in Bosnia but "did not feel confident
enough to arrest him on his own turf." NATO commanders
approved then President Biljana Plavsic's decision to name
him chief-of-staff in February 1998, AP noted. PM

DODIK SLAMS TALIC'S ARREST... Moderate Republika Srpska Prime
Minister Milorad Dodik said in Banja Luka on 25 August that
the arrest was an "inappropriate action" that "ignored the
basic code of diplomatic behavior." Dodik added that "the
government is deeply concerned about the safety of any of its
citizens.... [It now appears that] anyone can be arrested
anywhere, at any time. There is considerable doubt that
Bosnia Serb representatives will take part in any future
international meetings," AP reported. British Balkan expert
Christopher Bennett said, however, that the top Bosnian Serb
leaders can do little in the face of indictments from The
Hague. Bennett added that the leaders "are all terrified that
they are next," Reuters reported. PM

...AS DO OTHER BOSNIAN SERBS. Several prominent Bosnian Serbs
representing different parts of the political spectrum
expressed outrage on 25 August over Talic's arrest. Zivko
Radisic, who is the Serbian representative on the Bosnian
joint presidency, said in Banja Luka that the tribunal's use
of secret indictments may "pose a serious obstacle to the
functioning of the institutions of the Republika Srpska,"
RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. He added that the
arrest threatens to jeopardize future cooperation between the
Bosnian Serbs and the international community. Plavsic said
that the arrest could lead to a "revolt" among Serbs. A
spokesman for Radovan Karadzic's Serbian Democratic Party
demanded that Talic be freed immediately. The spokesman
added: "The secret indictments exist only at The Hague
tribunal and are aimed only at the Serbs." Bosnian Serb Vice
President Mirko Sarovic called the arrest "humiliating" and a
harbinger of "the preparations against us." He did not
elaborate. PM

BOSNIAN SERB MILITARY, NATO TO CONTINUE COOPERATION.
Lieutenant-General Michael Willcocks, who is SFOR's deputy
commander for operations, held "detailed discussions" with
Bosnian Serb Colonel-General Novica Simic, who is Talic's
acting deputy, in Banja Luka on 25 August, an SFOR spokesman
said the next day. The two top officers agreed to continue
cooperation. The spokesman stressed that SFOR and the Bosnian
Serb military work together on a "good footing," Reuters
reported. He also noted that it was Austrian police, and not
SFOR, that arrested Talic. PM

WESTERN PRAISE FOR TALIC'S ARREST. British Foreign Secretary
Robin Cook said in a statement in London on 25 August that
Talic's arrest proves that "the international community has
not forgotten about the war crimes committed in Bosnia as we
will not forget the crimes committed in [Kosova] until all
those indicted appear at The Hague" tribunal. In Washington,
State Department spokesman James Foley added that "the arrest
of General Talic underscores the need for new military
leadership in the Republika Srpska to go along with the new
political leadership there," Reuters reported. It is unclear
which "new political leadership" he is referring to. At The
Hague, spokesman Paul Risley stressed "that neither the OSCE
nor Austria had been informed [in advance] that [Talic] had
been charged," AFP reported. Risley added that the practice
of indicting war criminals in secret has proven "most
effective," the BBC Serbian Service reported. PM

HAGUE COURT FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST CROATIA. Gabrielle Kirk
McDonald, who heads the Hague-based tribunal, said in a
letter to the UN Security Council on 25 August that the
Croatian government refuses "to cooperate with the
international tribunal." Specifically, Croatia refuses "to
recognize the international tribunal's jurisdiction over
alleged criminal activity." The Zagreb authorities have also
declined to "surrender and transfer" indicted suspects, she
continued. In Zagreb, Croatian Justice Minister Zvonimir
Separovic told Croatian television that his government
"rejects claims that it does not cooperate with the
tribunal." He repeated that the authorities will prove that
they do cooperate (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 August 1999). PM

CROATIAN OPPOSITION SAYS NO CONSENSUS ON ELECTORAL REFORM. A
Social Democratic spokesman told Reuters in Zagreb on 25
August that opposition leaders see "no sense" in holding
further talks on electoral reform with the governing Croatian
Democratic Community (HDZ). He charged that the HDZ has "no
intention" of giving up its control over public television,
Reuters reported. He added that the opposition and the HDZ
have reached no compromise on the law reserving 12 seats in
the 128-seat lower house for Bosnian Croats, who generally
vote for the HDZ. The international community has repeatedly
stressed that Croatia must reform its electoral and media
laws and enable more ethnic Serbian refugees to go home if
Zagreb wants integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. PM

KOUCHNER RULES OUT 'CANTONIZATION' OF KOSOVA... UN Special
Representative Bernard Kouchner told AFP after the third
session of the Kosova Transitional Council in Prishtina on 25
August that he does not want a formal partition of Kosova
along ethnic lines. Serbian leader Momcilo Trajkovic earlier
proposed "cantonization" to protect the Serbian minority
there (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 August 1999). All ethnic
Albanian representatives rejected that proposal. Trajkovic
told RFE/RL's South Slavic Service after the meeting that
Kouchner suggested "regrouping" Serbs under international
protection: "The discussion focused on the possibility of
creating security zones for the Kosovar Serbs including
Prishtina, Mitrovica, some areas in the Sharr mountains, and
Gjilan." After the meeting, Kouchner explained that
"cantonization is not a good word...it reminds us a lot of
bad things." He pledged that he and Serbian representatives
will present a new plan next week. The Kosova Liberation
Army's Hashim Thaci, however, said the ethnic Albanian
representatives consider the discussion closed. FS

...BUT PLEDGES TO LAUNCH EXECUTIVE BODIES. Kouchner said in
Prishtina on 25 August that the council meeting was "very
difficult but constructive." He explained that the discussion
focused on the creation of executive and governing bodies. He
gave no details, however. Kosovar moderate leader Ibrahim
Rugova told RFE/RL's South Slavic Service that "we have
agreed to create executive bodies of the transitional
council. This is most important, and they will begin to work
soon." Thaci, however, said that the precise composition of
those bodies is not yet clear: "We do not know how they will
be composed because the issue is undefined and there is no
judicial and legal basis on which to set up these bodies." FS

NEGOTIATIONS OVER RUSSIAN DEPLOYMENT IN RAHOVEC CONTINUE.
Ethnic Albanians continued their blockade of Rahovec on 26
August, ahead of another round of negotiations with KFOR (see
Part I). Talks the previous day brought no breakthrough,
Reuters reported. The "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" reported on 26
August that "KFOR is hesitating and has given the Kosovars
two weeks to think matters over. The Russians will continue
to swelter in their tanks. The Albanians have scored a
partial victory with their stubbornness. Not just Moscow but
the whole international community has once again been duped
in Kosova." FS

HIGH DEATH-TOLL IN MONTENEGRIN REFUGEE BOAT DISASTER.
Montenegrin police officials told AP on 25 August that they
have found 33 bodies of the victims of a boat accident on 20
August (see "RFE/RL Kosovo Report," 24 August 1999). The boat
was carrying more than 100 mostly Roma refugees from Kosova,
who were attempting to enter Italy illegally. A ship serving
the Tivar-Bari line earlier rescued 69 people. Meanwhile,
Montenegrin police arrested several people suspected of
organizing the smuggling of Kosovar Roma to Italy, "Pobjeda"
reported on 25 August. Survivors said that the smugglers
charged about $1,100 for each adult and between $10 and $550
for children, depending on their age. FS

ALBANIAN POLICE FIND LARGE ARMS CACHE NEAR TROPOJA. Albanian
special police forces on 24 August discovered an arms cache
containing grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, mortars,
and other weapons, "Gazeta Shqiptare" reported. The cache was
located in a tunnel near Pac in the Tropoja region. Police in
the same region also confiscated two tanker trucks smuggling
gasoline into Gjakova as well as several cars stolen in
Albania and bound for Kosova. One of them was stolen from the
OSCE in the Tropoja region earlier in the year. Earlier this
summer, the OSCE closed its local office there after gunmen
killed two of its local staff (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17 June
1999). A spokesman of the Public Order Ministry told an
RFE/RL South Slavic Service correspondent that he cannot
confirm the newspaper report. An OSCE spokeswoman in Tirana,
however, said that OSCE officials will visit Tropoja to
investigate the report. FS

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES RESTITUTION LAW. The Chamber
of Deputies on 25 August voted by 168 to six with one
abstention to approve the law on the restitution of real
estate to former owners and their heirs, RFE/RL's Bucharest
bureau reported. The three main opposition parties
boycotted the vote and Adrian Nastase, first deputy
chairman of the Party of Social Democracy in Romania, said
the law will be changed if his party is returned to power
in 2000. Under the law, former owners can claim property
within five years of the legislation's going into effect,
in order to protect tenants still living in nationalized
houses. In cases where property was destroyed or is now
being used for a purpose other than its original one,
owners will be compensated over 20 years through bonds,
shares, or cash. The Senate has still to vote on the bill.
MS

ROMANIA RECEIVES WORLD BANK TRANCHE. The World Bank on 25
August disbursed the first $150 million tranche of a $325
million stand-by loan for restructuring the private sector
and privatizing state enterprises, RFE/RL's Bucharest
bureau reported. That loan was approved in March. Prime
Minister Radu Vasile said he hopes the second tranche will
be soon disbursed. Under the loan agreement, that tranche
is conditional on the privatization of 64 state
enterprises. MS

MOLDOVAN GOVERNMENT REJECTS RUSSIAN ACCUSATIONS. The
government press service on 25 August rejected as "scandal-
mongering" allegations by "Komsomolskaya pravda" that a
draft law regulating advertising is reminiscent of Nazi
Germany practice. The service says it is not true that the
envisaged legislation allows advertising only in
"Moldovan," as claimed by the Russian daily. Advertising
will be mandatory in the official state language but
translations are not prohibited. The press service says
that "every country is entitled to...preserve its cultural
specificity in line with its own historical development."
The "continuous Sovietization of Moldovans in the [post-
war] period has done great damage to [Moldovan] national
consciousness and distorted the language spoken by the
people," Flux reported. MS

UKRAINIAN AIRLINE STARTS COURT PROCEEDING AGAINST MOLDOVA.
Aeroalliance, whose AN-26 cargo plane has been impounded in
Moldova since 7 April, has filed suit with the Moldovan
Economic Court demanding the release of the plane and
compensation for losses incurred, Infotag reported on 25
August. The agency, citing Ukrainian media sources,
reported that Aeroalliance President Valeriy Marinichenko
has said his company is ready to accept responsibility for
the fact that the crew of the plane, which made an
unscheduled landing in Chisinau, declared the cargo as oil
pumps and other equipment en route from Budapest to Burgas,
Bulgaria. The plane, however, was carrying 5,000 pistols
ordered by Yemen. MS

JAPAN HELPS BULGARIA OVERCOME KOSOVA CRISIS CONSEQUENCES.
Japan is donating 500 million yen ($4.46 million) to help
Bulgaria overcome the economic consequences of the Kosova
crisis, dpa reported on 24 August. The announcement was made
after Koki Chuma, chairman of the Japanese parliament's
Foreign Policy Committee, met with Bulgarian parliamentary
chairman Yordan Sokolov in Sofia. MS

END NOTE

HUNGARY'S MOST CELEBRATED CRIMINAL

by Michael J. Jordan

	On the surface, it's a bit baffling. Hungary--a small
country proud of its contributions to world culture and
science and currently striving to join the club of Western
democracies--is holding up as its hero a man accused of 28
bank robberies. Vendors are hawking mugs and T-shirts of
Attila Ambrus. Fans have set up a Web site. A U.S. company is
considering buying the movie rights to his life story, and a
German firm wants Ambrus to promote its new energy drink.
	So why the hoopla for a hood? The answer lies buried in
the Hungarian psyche. After nearly 500 years in the yoke of
foreign powers and 10 years of scandal-tainted capitalism,
the public has channeled its loathing of the "state" into
support for a criminal who holds up state-owned banks and who
recently humiliated police with a daring escape from a high-
security jail.
	"It's like the mouse laughing at the cat," says Gyorgy
Csepeli, a Hungarian social psychologist, who admits to being
an Ambrus admirer. "Here there has always been a clash
between state institutions and the people, with the state not
seen as a part of society but as something distant and
dangerous. So people love to see when the state can't control
a situation." He adds, "I also have no empathy for the
police. Before 1989, I was beaten several times."
	Indeed, Hungarians are thrilled to see Ambrus preying on
two of society's most despised institutions: the banks and
the police. During four decades of communism, the police
gained a reputation for ruthlessness in persecuting opponents
of the regime. Not only were they feared, but their perceived
"stupidity" made them the butt of many Hungarian jokes.
	Meanwhile, banks and the bosses who run them are a
powerful symbol of the postcommunist transition. While a
handful of Hungarians have become very rich, most of the
public is not doing as well. The average salary is about $200
per month.
	The perception is that Ambrus is giving banks and police
their comeuppance. He is often compared with Sandor Rozsa, a
Hungarian Robin Hood-like figure of the early 19th century
who ambushed the wealthy as they traveled between Budapest
and Vienna.
	Ambrus's modus operandi has been just as important for
his image as have his targets. A former goalie in Hungary's
professional hockey league, Ambrus is viewed as a
"gentlemanly" criminal: clean-cut, polite, and good-looking.
He sometimes arrives at heists dressed in a jacket and tie;
sometimes he leaves flowers for the bank teller.
	And he has robberies down to a science: The police have
a four-minute response time, so he usually gets the job done
in two or three minutes. His getaways display similar
panache. Ambrus has routinely hailed taxis, but once he swam
across the mighty River Danube.
	In a telephone poll of Hungarians earlier this month,
three-quarters of respondents said they are rooting for
Ambrus. "I support [Ambrus] even though by stealing from
banks he's also taking from us," says Zoltan Hajos, a street
cleaner. "So I'd rather see him go after the rich."
	Of course, there are Hungarians with a more sober
attitude. "Ambrus is a criminal who should be punished," says
Szilard Morzsa, a retired economist. "I think the people who
like him are those who watch these idiotic American movies
and think this situation is like America."
	Ambrus's six-year crime spree appeared to be over in
January. As police staked out his home, Ambrus was captured
when he came to collect his dog. Hungarians saw this as
another sign of his humanity.
	Then on July 12, he again grabbed headlines by tying
together bed sheets and rappelling from the fourth-floor
window of his Budapest jail cell. The escape was caught on
videotape, but the guards were short-handed that weekend and
failed to respond.
	However, what many of Ambrus's fans are unaware of is
that Ambrus has also been charged with attempted murder in
connection with a March 1998 robbery. With police in hot
pursuit, Ambrus reportedly turned and fired a pistol at them
several times. Police failed to publicize the alleged
incident at the time, however, and the belated charge has
some supporters claiming it is an attempt to frame Ambrus.
	Jozsef Jonas, a Hungarian crime reporter who had an
exclusive jail-house interview with Ambrus before his escape,
says police are in a quandary over how to proceed. "If they
criticize Ambrus and try to convince the public he's not a
good guy, the public may think just the opposite."
	The media, for their part, are finally taking a more
critical look at Ambrus. Television news has now revealed
that he had numerous brushes with the law earlier in life and
has failed to provide for his impoverished parents in the
countryside. Meanwhile, Ambrus, through his lawyer, Gyorgy
Magyar, is parlaying his notoriety into profits. There's the
possible movie deal with an unidentified U.S. company and the
energy-drink promotion. In addition, his published memoirs
will be hitting the book stores shortly.
	While doing business with a convicted criminal is not
illegal in Hungary, critics question the morality and ethics.
"My client has realized he could make more money being on the
wrong side of the law, in more ways than one," Mr. Magyar
says. "I'm just representing his interests, ensuring that his
name and image are not used improperly. Ethics have nothing
to do with this."

The author is a Budapest-based journalist
(michaeljjordan@csi.com).
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
               Copyright (c) 1999 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word subscribe as the subject of the message.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word unsubscribe as the subject of the message.

For subscription problems or inquiries, please email
hermanoval@rferl.org
________________________________________________
CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES ON THE WEB
Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest
are online at: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/
_________________________________________________
LISTEN TO NEWS FOR 25 COUNTRIES
RFE/RL programs are online daily at RFE/RL's 24-Hour LIVE
Broadcast Studio. http://www.rferl.org/realaudio/index.html
_________________________________________________
REPRINT POLICY
To receive reprint permission, please contact Paul Goble via
email at GobleP@rferl.org or fax at 202-457-6992
_________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE STAFF
* Paul Goble, Publisher, GobleP@rferl.org
* Liz Fuller, Editor-in-Chief, CarlsonE@rferl.org
* Patrick Moore, Team Leader, MooreP@rferl.org
* Jan Cleave, CleaveJ@rferl.org
* Julie A. Corwin, CorwinJ@rferl.org
* Jan Maksymiuk, MaksymiukJ@rferl.org
* Fabian Schmidt, SchmidtF@rferl.org
* Michael Shafir, ShafirM@rferl.org

FREE-LANCE AND OCCASIONAL CONTRIBUTORS
* Asta Banionis, Pete Baumgartner, Jeremy Branston,  Victor
Gomez, Mel Huang, Dan Ionescu, Zsolt-Istvan Mato, Jolyon
Naegele, Matyas Szabo, Anthony Wesolowsky, Martins J. Zvaners

RFE/RL Newsline Fax: (420-2) 2112-3630
_________________________________________________
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole