Judicial credibility in Hungary worries corruption expert

The head of an international corruption watchdog says conflicts in Hungary's judicial system endanger its credibility and impartiality.

Marin Mrcela, chairman of the Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption, said Friday that lack of cooperation between the National Judiciary Office and the National Judicial Council was "troublesome."

The Judiciary Office — which oversees the courts system — is headed by Tunde Hando, considered an ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Her decisions can be challenged by the Judicial Council, which includes 15 judges chosen by their peers.

Mrcela said in an interview with The Associated Press that "non-cooperation between those two bodies ruins the credibility of the judiciary as a whole."

Conflicts over the nomination and promotion of judges, for example, have long dogged Hungary's legal system.