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Tag: Judit Varga

Minister of Justice files charges against the “Devil’s Advocate” and threatens press that repeat its claims about her

picture of Judit Varga

After the “Devil’s Advocate” Facebook page came to life again on Monday suggesting tantalizing details on Fidesz’s nominee for head of state Katalin Novák and Minister of Justice Judit Varga (pictured), the person in charge of the page responded again on Tuesday with rainbow flag emojis and another vaguely-worded message apparently directed at the Justice Minister.

there’s no shame in this in a normally-functioning society

dear Judit, your family already knows

-the “Devil’s Advocate” Facebook post read.

Varga chose to respond to the allegations on Tuesday in a Facebook post of her own:

Lying posts about me appeared yesterday and today on one of the Facebook pages connected with the opposition. The posts try to publicly humiliate me as a woman and mother with untrue allegations.

The minister claimed that the left was in such trouble that neither Christmas, nor families, nor being a woman pose an obstacle when it comes to spreading filth or smearing others.

All allegations concerning my person that appear on the Devil’s Advocate Facebook page are untrue, and I will be filing defamation charges against an unknown perpetrator. I will also take appropriate criminal and civil action against press outlets that perpetuate this lie.

-Judit Varga closed her post.

Following this, the Devil’s Advocate page then responded to the Justice Minister’s statement with yet another post filled with vaguely-worded allegations and closing with this statement:

As I promised, I’ll activate myself in the next few months. At the most suitable pace.

[Népszava][Photo: Judit Varga / Facebook]

Most Hungarians think other politicians are involved in Völner corruption scandal

picture of Judit Varga

Most Hungarians believe that Justice Minister Judit Varga (pictured) is responsible for the corruption scandal that has engulfed her deputy, former State Secretary Pál Völner, according to a poll conducted by the Publicus Institute for Népszava.

The Hungarian daily writes that according to the survey, 84% of opposition supporters and 22% of those who support the government felt the minister had some responsibility in the affair.

A surprisingly large number of pro-government voters, one in eight, even believes that Varga should resign. The vast majority of opposition voters, 82%, say Varga should give up her position, while 40% of uncertain voters also share this view.

The Prime Minister’s responsibility in the scandal is also being questioned by many: 40% of respondents think that Viktor Orbán has some responsibility for the affair, a view shared by three-fourths of pro-opposition supporters but also by 41% of Fidesz voters as well.

A majority of respondents, 53%, do not believe that Völner alone was involved in the scandal, while only 8% thought that the state secretary had acted on his own in allegedly receiving bribes from the president of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers.

[HVG]

Róbert Répássy replacing Völner at Ministry of Justice

picture of Judit Varga and Róbert Répássy

Róbert Répássy has replaced Pál Völner at the Ministry of Justice, after the latter became embroiled in a corruption scandal this week and resigned from his position in the ministry on Tuesday.

Welcome back to the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Secretary of State!

-wrote Justice Minister Judit Varga to Répássy on her Facebook page, adding, “Welcome back on board!”

President János Áder presented Répássy’s appointment as State Secretary at the Sándor Palace on Friday.

Répássy has been a member of Fidesz since 1988, and led the party’s Miskolc branch from 1994 to 1996. From 1998 to 2018, Répássy was a Fidesz MP, and between 2010-2014 he served as State Secretary for Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice.

From 2014 to 2015, he was also State Secretary and Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Justice. In 2015, Pál Völner took over from Répássy in the Ministry of Justice.

[HVG][Photo: Judit Varga / Facebook]

With Völner taken down, opposition demands resignation of Judit Varga

picture of Pál Völner

Following the sudden resignation of Fidesz Member of Parliament Pál Völner (pictured) yesterday from his position as State Secretary, Hungary’s opposition is also calling for Justice Minister Judit Varga to resign in what they call “the most serious corruption scandal in the Orbán government.”

Early on Tuesday, Prosecutor General Péter Polt submitted a request to suspend the Parliamentary immunity of Pál Völner, stemming from an ongoing investigation into bribery payments Völner allegedly accepted from the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers. Following this, Völner resigned as State Secretary later in the day.

Anna Donáth, president of opposition party Momentum, referred to Völner’s role in the Pegasus spyware scandal, and called on Justice Minister Judit Varga herself to resign for empowering her state secretary to make decisions on who to spy on.

Not only is the minister unable to perform her duties by letting someone else authorize the wiretaps, but she can’t even supervise her own subordinates in the ministry. She needs to resign immediately

-stated Anna Donáth.

Jobbik released a statement saying that it was particularly infuriating that Völner had received bribe money from judicial executors, whose actions have brought tens of thousands of families to the streets in more than a decade of Fidesz rule.

The opposition party claims that Minister Varga and State Secretary Völner together “surveilled and wiretapped independent journalists, businesspeople, and opposition politicians,” and that Varga should follow her deputy’s lead and step down from her position.

Opposition prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay also weighed in with his opinion on the matter, commenting on social media:

What has Viktor Orbán done to this country? The Ministry of Justice directs corruption in this government, and the threads lead back to the leader who made decisions on the Pegasus spyware. So in Hungary, it’s not the state that surveils criminals by secret means, but rather a criminal who does the surveilling of honest citizens, journalists, and companies.

In addition, opposition politicians at a press conference hosted by the members of Dialogue, Everybody’s Hungary Movement, Democratic Coalition, LMP, and the Hungarian Socialist Party not only called on the immediate resignation of Justice Minister Judit Varga, but for Pál Völner to resign his mandate in Parliament as well.

According to the Central Investigative Prosecutor’s Office, there is a well-founded reason to believe that Völner received occasional payments of 2–5 million Ft. (US $6,200-$15,400) from the President of the Hungarian Judicial Enforcement Office for several years in exchange for taking on specific cases at the President’s request. The case has twelve suspects, including eight executors in the enforcement office.

[Telex]

Justice Minister Varga offers rare praise of Brussels

picture of Judit Varga

Hungary and the European Union have seen their share of mutual spats in recent days, but Justice Minister Judit Varga offered some rare praise of Brussels for once, reports 24.hu.

“They finally made a good decision about something!” Varga wrote on Facebook. However, the minister was not referring to anything politically related, but rather to the fact that a Hungarian wine had been chosen as the best red wine of the year in the Belgian capital.

Judit Varga posed with a glass of Hungarian wine from the Villány region, apparently celebrating after the 2015 Cassiopeia Merlot from the Jammertal Wine Estate had been chosen as the best red wine in the world at the 2021 Concours Mondail de Bruxelles. The Jammertal Merlot had competed in a multi-round blind taste test against nearly 7,500 other wines.

Profitline, the first in Hungary to report on the news, wrote that the owner of the Jammertal Winery, Dr. Róbert Szűcs, is a medical doctor by training and still a major supplier of Hungarian hospitals with his medical equipment distribution company. At the end of the 1990’s, however, he fell in love with the Villány wine region, where he built one of the most modern wineries in Europe with a nominal capacity of one million bottles a year.

[24.hu]

Párbeszéd MP confronts Justice Minster in hallway about Pegasus case

Párbeszéd MP Bence Tordai claimed that he was “forced” to ask Justice Minister Judit Varga a question in the hallway of Parliament yesterday after not being allowed to question her in a parliamentary committee about the Pegasus scandal, which he recorded and posted on his Facebook page.

The Párbeszéd Member of Parliament reminded Minister Varga that lawyers can only be spied upon if they have been suspected of a crime, and yet the Israeli spy software Pegasus had been found on 10 Hungarian lawyers’ electronic devices.

In response, Varga told Tordai, “How about if you leave us alone?” and tried to avoid him. State Secretary Pál Völner then tried to cover Tordai’s camera, and Varga concluded by stating that “all answers have already been given to every question.” [Index]

You can watch the exchange here.