picture of Pál Völner

As expected, Parliament suspended the Parliamentary immunity of Fidesz MP Pál Völner (pictured) on Tuesday, with 128 votes in favor and no votes against.

The former deputy of Justice Minister Judit Varga is suspected of accepting bribes from the President of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers in exchange for arranging affairs at the President’s request, as well as attempting to direct tender funds that were not under his authority.

Parliament’s ruling now permits investigators to interrogate and bring charges against Völner.

The chair of the Immunity Committee, János Hargitai, spoke before the vote, criticizing Prosecutor General Péter Polt’s motion to suspend Völner’s immunity but claiming that the facts can only be clarified in court.

Pál Völner had the opportunity to speak on his own behalf during the proceedings, but he was not present in the Chamber.

The Prosecutor General’s Office requested the suspension of Pál Völner’s Parliamentary immunity last week when it revealed that he was being investigated for corruption. This then led to Völner’s immediate resignation as State Secretary in the Justice Ministry, although he released a statement through his legal representation claiming that he had not committed a crime. Völner later called the motion of the Prosecutor General Péter Polt “confused.”

[Népszava]

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By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.