Appeals court in Hungary orders retrial for communist-era minister convicted of war crimes

A Hungarian appeals court has ordered a retrial of a communist-era official convicted of war crimes related to reprisals against civilians after the 1956 anti-Soviet revolution.

Bela Biszku, the only high-ranking communist leader convicted since Hungary's 1990 return to democracy, was sentenced to five years and six months in prison in May 2014. Prosecutors appealed the sentence, asking for life in prison for the 93-year-old, while Biszku's defense sought a dismissal of the charges.

It wasn't immediately clear why the appeals court decided to return the case to the lower court Monday.

Biszku was in the Communist Party's ruling committee after the 1956 uprising was defeated by Soviet forces. The committee created armed militias to carry out the repression and Biszku was convicted for his responsibility in nearly 50 deaths.