President János Áder has formally accepted the resignation of Pál Völner (pictured) as State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, in connection with the bribery case against him, reports Index.
I find that, with respect to his resignation, Dr. Pál Völner’s mandate as Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice is hereby terminated, effective December 8, 2021.
-reads the resolution, which was countersigned by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Pál Völner announced his resignation on Tuesday, December 7, after Péter Polt, the chief prosecutor, recommended that his immunity be suspended due to an ongoing investigation into charges of bribery in an official position and other crimes.
In a statement from his legal representation that day, the Fidesz politician denied committing any crimes and said he had performed his duties as state secretary and ministerial commissioner fairly and in accordance with the law, but accepted the political consequences of the case.
According to the legal case against him, Pál Völner regularly received occasional payments of 2-5 million Ft. (US $6,200-$15,400) from the President of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers over a long period of time in exchange for accepting cases at the President’s discretion, thereby abusing his supervisory, official, and administrative powers.
Not long after that, Fidesz indicated that it would vote to suspend Pál Völner’s Parliamentary immunity, as the politician would need to clear himself in public.
The Dialogue party proposed convening the Parliamentary Immunity Committee on the matter, and the opposition has called for the resignation of Justice Minister Judit Varga as well.
In addition, HVG claims that the National Defense Service has collected thousands of pages of evidence related to the criminal case against Völner, largely taken from surveillance on him.