A new video has been sent to news editorial offices of a masked informant referred to as “Anonymous” about the alleged sale of City Hall, reports Népszava.
Balázs Barts, CEO of the Budapest’s asset management company, is said to be heard in the heavily-edited recording, which was first written about by Index. Barts presents documents on the sale of Budapest City Hall, which he claims was also discussed by Mayor Gergely Karácsony’s cabinet.
The recording states that “the project concerns the old City Hall building and the plot belonging to it.” Barts also says that he knows “Gyula” and “Zsolt” among his interlocutors. Reports have indicated that these may refer to Gyula Gansperger, a state secretary in the first Orbán government, and Zsolt Berki, the head of a real estate company that has become associated with this affair.
Index first reported the news that the capital was looking for a buyer for the historically-protected City Hall complex, but Mayor Karácsony denied the story immediately and continues to do so.
Regarding the current audio recording, the city reinterated in a statement that the capital has no interest in selling the property on City Hall, but did not deny that the audio was fake or that it wasn’t Barts speaking on it. Instead, they will be publishing a preliminary study that took a look at the development possibilities of City Hall.
Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the different options, the Mayor’s Cabinet agreed at its November 26, 2020 meeting to keep City Hall under the ownership of the Budapest City Council.
Deputy Mayor Ambrus Kiss, when asked if it was really Barts speaking in the recording and whether there would be an internal investigation into the matter, responded, “I think any possibility is on the table after such a recording.”