Ousted Hungarian Communists Said To Harbor Infamous Terrorist ‘Carlos’
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) _ A decade ago, Communist leaders harbored the elusive international terrorist ″Carlos″, who masterminded deadly attacks in Western Europe and is still at large, the new government says.
Interior Minister Balasz Horvath said Wednesday that after incriminating documnowledge of or role in sheltering terrorists.
Horvath said that chief among the terrorists was Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, alias Carlos, who masterminded a 1975 attack on an OPEC meeting in Vienna that killed three people and 1984 bombings in Marseille, France, that killed five.
The development follows arrests this month in East Germany of leftist terrorist suspects who officials say were given new identities and allowed to live there while the Communists were in power.
Unlike other Eastern European countries where Communists were removed from power, in Hungary no Communist leader has been arrested or charged in connection with activities during 45 years of Communist rule, which ended with free elections in April.
Horvath said it was ″obviously a political decision to let these people (terrorists) come and stay in Hungary.
″It remains to be proved that they were undergoing training here, but the inventory seems to point in a certain direction,″ he told reporters. He did not elaborate.
Horvath said the deputy national police chief, Andras Turos, came to him with the information over the weekend.
He said the government documents included a 1979 Interior Ministry report on the arrival of Carlos and his group and a 1980 ministry report saying the terrorists had left behind explosives, guns, rockets and rocket launchers.
Horvath said it is not known where the group obtained these items.
He said a 1980 letter from Carlos to former longtime Communist Party leader Janos Kadar thanked Kadar for allowing the group to use Hungary as a base.
Kadar stepped down in May 1988 and was replaced by Communist reformer Karoly Grosz.
Benkei, the ex-interior minister, was quoted by the Nepszabadsag newspaper on Wednesday as saying, ″This must be a misunderstanding. I did not deal with such matters. I retired in 1980. Hiding people? Nonsense. Lies.″
Nepszabadsag, a former Communist Party paper, reported that Carlos and his associates were indeed in Hungary in those years.
Citing a ″well-informed″ but unnamed source, the paper stated that ″a very small circle of leaders knew about the authorization, and their stay was ... (safeguarded by) state security organs.
″According to the information we have, their stay was not linked to any terrorist action, but was to provide the terrorists rest and recreation,″ Nepszabadsag reported.
Another Budapest daily, Magyar Hirlap, said Wednesday that there had been a terrorist training camp at Csopak, on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, but provided no further information.
Horvath told reporters that there has been no evidence uncovered so far that Carlos and his group were in Csopak.
Carlos, a Venezuelan sometimes called ″The Jackal,″ headed Interpol’s most-wanted list in 1975.
The son of a wealthy Communist lawyer, Carlos has been linked with a bombing Dec. 31, 1984, in Marseille that killed five people and wounded 41.
He is also accused of plotting the 1975 hijacking of an Air France jetliner to Uganda that ended with the Israeli commando raid at Entebbe airport, and the kidnapping of 11 OPEC oil ministers in Vienna in which three people were killed.