picture of György Schadl

Surveillance of György Schadl (pictured) in the Pál Völner corruption case suggests a powerful, unnamed person in the background. According to recordings surreptitiously taken of Schadl’s phone calls by the National Protective Service (NVSZ), the president of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officials refers to his “master” several times, which was someone he typically met abroad.

The person in question is not Pál Völner, who is suspected of doing several corrupt deals with the Chamber President over a number of years, but someone much more influential in the government. However, it is not clear from the documents who that person is, writes András Dezső in HVG based on released documents.

In April of this year, NVSZ apparently began wiretapping the phone of a corrupt tax official that they suspected was allegedly taking bribes in exchange for settling cases of budget fraud. It was through this person that they began listening in on György Schadl, who handled everything from small matters to “big-time crooked deals.” Pál Völner came into the picture through intercepting Schadl’s calls, with whom he talked frequently and avoided using any coded language.

HVG’s sources in the NVSZ doubt that Sándor Pintér, as Minister of the Interior, could not have been aware of Völner’s involvement in the case this past summer, and it is also not likely that Minister Judit Varga had not known about Völner’s involvement by the autumn.

It is not clear from the files whether the NVSZ has investigated the person whom Schadl refers to as his “master,” but insiders well-versed in the case say the individual is a much more influential government politician than Völner and apparently is not in good relations with Minister Pintér.

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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.