- 1 Jun 2017 6:00 AM
Hungarian Prosecutor General Péter Polt proposed lifting Kovács’s immunity last year after a European anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) report stated that Kovács might have committed budget fraud and public document forgery. According to the report, Kovács entered into an internship contract with four private persons between 2012-2013.
Based on the contract, the four private persons should have taken part in an internship program lasting 4 and 6 months in Brussels, but they never showed up and did not accomplish any tasks, Magyar Idők reports.
According to Magyar Idők, despite the request of Kovács’s attorney to not obstruct Kovács’s MEP duties and provide him immunity from pre-trial detention, the committee decided to lift his immunity due to the fact that he had failed to appear before the body where he could have cleared himself of the allegations.
In a communiqué, Jobbik welcomed the committee’s decision and hoped “that the European Parliament will make its decision faster so the truth can be revealed in this case as well.” Jobbik added that “the clarification of the case before the court is not possible until an indictment is made. There has not been any progress made for one and a half years in the alleged spy affair, which is going on for three years, and without an indictment there is no way to clear the accusations of Fidesz.”
This is the second time Kovács’s immunity from prosecution has been lifted. In 2014, the Constitutional Protection Office (the Hungarian civilian secret service) filed a report against him after it found connections between him and a former KGB agent who was the subject of a separate investigation.
The report came to little effect, as it was known that due to Kovács’s immunity from prosecution, he could not be taken into custody and his free movement could not be restricted, and he could therefore freely dispose of evidence. The investigation has been under way for three years but the Central Detective Chief has failed to show results so far.
This, and the fact that the investigation is being conducted by the Central Detective Chief instead of the counter-intelligence agency, all raise suspicion that the Hungarian government is not interested in investigating the case and only uses the lengthy investigation to put constant pressure on Jobbik, which is trying to gain support among disillusioned Fidesz voters.
Source: The Budapest Beacon
Republished with permission