[CARDINAL MINDSZENTY SOUGHT
U.S. HELP TO
ESCAPE FROM TRIAL
FROM PAGE 1. - A.A.P.
BUDAPEST, Fri.-A letter which Cardinal Mindszenty,
Primate of Hungary, wrote to the American Minis- ter in Budapest, asking for a car and an escape plane, was produced by the prosecutor at the Cardinal's trial on charges of espionage last night. He admitted that
he wrote the letter 10 days ago.
THE escape letter was produced
five hours after the trial be- gan. The Cardinal wrote:
Mr. Minister: Action must be taken before Thursday. The sen- tence will be passed. The trial is pointed against America, and they also wish to prove that I receiv- ed money from America for es- pionage. I ask for a car and plane. There is no other way out. (Signed) Mindszenty.
A postscript, also signed by the Cardinal, asked that the bearer of the letter should arrange the escape.
Another postscript offered the
pilot of an escape plane 4,000 dol.
The president of the Court asked the Cardinal whether Mr. Chapin, the American Minister, had offered during a talk last November to assist him to escape.
The Cardinal replied that Mr. Chapin made the offer, but he (the Cardinal) said he preferred to stay in Hungary.
The Cardinal admitted that he had sent documents to a foreign power.
"All things with which I am charged occurred early in 1947, when many people thought a third world war was inevitable," he said.
Cardinal Mindszenty was given permission to sit during his examin- ation.
After he had been questioned for two and half hours about documents alleged to have been seized in the cellar of his palace, Cardinal Minds- zenty rose and said:
"I accept all these documents, and admit and regret that I wrote them."
He said they divided into three groups - the first group of minor importance, written but never post- ed; the second posted, but intended to help, not to harm the regime; and the third group, which dealt with Hungarian prisoners of war, the Hungarian minority in Czecho- slovakia, and similar problems.
These were sent to a foreign Pow-
er. He did not regret them because
they were pastoral acts aimed at
The president (Dr Oltj) said the court did not consider all the letters
The prosecutor asked: "Why did Mr. Chapin (U.S. Minister to Buda- pest) and Mr. Koczak (the U.S. Legation Attache) visit you at
For the first time during the hear- ing there was laughter when Car- dinal Mindszenty replied: "There is much more time at night."
Cardinal Mindzenty told the Court that he knew about certain black market dealing by minor Roman Catholic officials. It was his re- sponsibility to have stopped them,
but he did not imitate them.
Cardinal Mindszenty admitted that he asked foreign diplomats and the Vatican to place the sacred crown of Hungarian kings in a safe lodging place at Vatican City. He was sorry he had done that. His only interest was the safety of the
When Cardinal Mindszenty said he thought the Hungarian Press had attacked him too vigorously, the president said: "You attacked the very essence of our Government. As a religious personality you should have collaborated with the State in its reconstruction, shouldn't you?"
The Cardinal nodding, saying: "Yes, I should."
The Cardinal admitted that he knew Zigmund Mihalovics, director of Hungarian Catholic Action, was in touch with the American counter intelligence corps because he had written saying he needed informa- tion from Hungary for which the Americans would pay him.
The president: In other words, you had two levels of passing informa- tion to Americans, one directly to Chaplin, and the other to Mihalo- vics. Is that correct?
Cardinal Mindszenty: Yes.