European Union leaders are warning Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban that he is in for "a fight" if he considers restoring the death penalty, which is now banned throughout the 28-nation bloc.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Orban "should immediately make clear that this is not his intention. Would it be his intention, it would be a fight."

The head of the EU parliament echoed those comments, saying the legislature's civil liberties committee would be convened urgently and noting that the EU's charter of fundamental rights prohibits the death penalty.

The issue was raised by Orban after last week's murder of a 22-year-old tobacco shop attendant in a southern Hungarian city.