A WANTED man — who failed to appear in court in Bolton for possessing a Samurai sword — was involved in a high profile court case that caused a national outcry in Hungary.
The case of Jozsef Patai - in which he was himself the victim of a controversial knife attack in Budapest - saw anti-racism campaigners picket a court in the city, while his attack was also raised in parliament by the Hungarian prime minister.
Patai — who is now on the run from police in Bolton — was stabbed on a bus in Budapest in May, 2005, by a man dressed in military uniform on his way to practise sword fighting.
Up to 300 protesters gathered outside the courts in Hungary amid claims the attack was racially motivated due to Patai being of Roma origin.
Gyrurcsány Ferenc, the prime minister at the time, also declared in parliament that the attack was due to Patai’s race — something which was later ruled out in court.
Defendant Gyurcsa Mihály and his friends had weapons, swords and shields and were dressed in military uniforms as they were en route to practise sword fighting.
But an argument broke out — as the bus travelled along Budapest’s Várfok Street — and Patai was knifed.
He later underwent life-saving treatment and had to have his spleen removed.
When the trial started it emerged Mihály was also of Roma origin and an argument between the victim and the attacker led to the incident.
The reason for the argument is still unclear.
Mihály was convicted of the crime and jailed for three years and 10 months, but he has since been released.
Police continue to search for Patai, aged 25, and formerly of Dorset Street, The Haulgh, but believe he may now have left Bolton.
Media in Hungary have picked up on the case since he was reported as wanted by The Bolton News.
He faces charges of possessing a Samurai sword, a lock knife and a kitchen knife in Wigan Road, Deane, in May.
Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.