Convicted terrorist pardoned in Hungary on eve of Pope’s visit

By Balint Bardi, Antonia Mortensen, Eleanor Pickston and Heather Chen, CNN

Budapest, Hungary CNN  —  A far-right activist convicted of terrorism was among several prisoners pardoned in Hungary before the Pope’s official visit to the country this week, it has emerged.

György Budaházy, convicted of terrorism in March, left prison on Friday night on horseback, authorities said.

He was one of a number of prisoners pardoned by Hungarian President Katalin Novák before the Pope’s arrival.

“The week of the papal visit is a special occasion for the head of state to exercise her power of pardon,” Novák’s office said in a statement.

“Among others, the President of the Republic also pardoned those convicted in what was known as the Hunnia trial, for whom she decided to suspend their prison terms,” the statement added.

On Saturday, Pope Francis began a three-day visit to Hungary – his second to the country.

Thousands gathered in and around the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in central Budapest on Saturday morning where Francis met with refugees, many of them from Ukraine, and appealed to the importance of charity and heard testimonies from refugees.

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