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Tag: Pál Völner

Fidesz nominee to replace scandal-plagued Pál Völner has had a few issues of his own

picture of Gábor Erős

Szabad Európa writes that Gábor Erős, Fidesz’s nominee for Parliament in the Esztergom area and deputy mayor of the town (pictured), has had a rocky history with Hungary’s tax authority NAV and a penchant for exaggerating his academic accomplishments.

While Erős is certainly not the first Hungarian to have run afoul of both the tax agency and the truth, his past is somewhat embarrassing considering that he is the ruling party’s choice to replace incumbent Pál Völner, the former state secretary for justice who is currently under suspicion for receiving bribes.

NAV occasionally publishes a list of companies that have been found to have employed undeclared workers, meaning those who are paid “black,” or under the table. At the end of 2018, Gábor Erős, a sole proprietor at the time, was added to this list.

Before the 2014 elections, he also described himself as “an expert with a degree in my field.” Since then, the sentence referring to having a degree has disappeared from his biography, although it is still visible in a claim he made here. Erős’s biography now states that he is a qualified catering business manager with certificates in refereeing and fitness coaching.

Gábor Erős began an international career as a football referee, and eventually participated in several world championships, Olympic, and Champions League matches as an assistant to Viktor Kassai and others.

Erős has been a local municipal representative in Esztergom since 2014, and in 2019 he became deputy mayor of the city. Also in 2019, he set up catering company Gran Dervim Kft. together with family members.

The Fidesz politician did not respond to Szabad Európa‘s requests for a comment on their story.

[Szabad Európa]

Opposition youth groups protest Völner scandal, give failing grade to Orbán gov’t

picture of protesting youths

“We’ll be giving a report card to those who get their grades through a telephone call instead of an exam,” stated the invitation by Every Youth’s Hungary to the Buda Castle on Sunday afternoon, where the group protested recent developments in the Völner corruption case at the Carmelite Monastery, which houses the Office of the Prime Minister at Szent György Square.

One of the relatives of former State Secretary Pál Völner, currently under suspicion of receiving bribes, and Ádám Nagy, Chief of Staff of Minister Antal Rogán, are among those who illegally passed their university exams after György Schadl, the President of the Hungarian Chamber of Bailiffs and one of the key figures in the Völner scandal, put pressure on university teachers.

MSZP’s youth section, the Red Front, joined the event organized by the youth organization of the Everybody’s Hungary Movement, led by opposition prime ministerial-candidate Péter Márki-Zay.

Every Youth’s Hungary gives the Orbán government a string of failing grades, Jan. 23, 2022

Tens of thousands of college students are poring over their notes through the night in these weeks so they can successfully pass their exams, studying so they can get a good job and a decent livelihood. Because they think this is how to get ahead.

-said Every Youth’s Hungary. In contrast to this, a different set of rules applies for a young man sitting next to the most powerful minister in the Orbán government, already with a good salary, a large office, an assistant, and a car at his disposal.

He didn’t take his university exams, yet he passed them. He didn’t have to study, he didn’t have knowledge or diligence, yet he went further than most of his contemporaries. Why? Because he’s one of the Fidesz privileged. This is what he gets, because the world is his. Theirs. The privileged. The country belongs to them.

-stated speakers at the protest.

However, protest organizers said that they do not want to live in such a country, adding that they are studying to get ahead in life and not so that “the well-connected can pass them by on a glide path.”

They also have a message to those who have chosen the party membership book over the textbook:

You may have fraudulently passed the exam, but you have failed us.

[Népszava][Photos: Minden Fiatal Magyarországa / Facebook]

Prosecutor General’s Office not saying much about Völner corruption case

picture of Péter Polt

Independent MP Bernadett Szél received a response to her inquiry about the Pál Völner corruption case from the Office of the Prosecutor General, but she didn’t get any specific answers about it.

Szél sent a two-page request to Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt (pictured) on December 15, asking whether the role and identity of the “hitherto unknown subordinates” of the relevant ministries were also being investigated, and if there were other suspects in the case beyond Völner.

Polt’s office finally provided a terse response to the MP’s request on the last day of the year, which read:

The Central Investigating Prosecutor’s Office is conducting investigation 1.Nyom.1375/2021 against Dr. Pál Völner and others for the crime of profiteering from bribery through influence and other crimes. The ongoing investigation covers the detection and investigation of all prosecutable crimes.”

On December 7, Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt requested suspending the Parliamentary immunity of Fidesz MP Pál Völner due to an ongoing investigation into abuse of office and other crimes.

Pál Völner said through his legal representative that day that he had not committed a crime and that he had performed his duties as State Secretary and Ministerial Commissioner fairly and in accordance with the law, but that he would accept the political consequences of the case and resign as State Secretary.

The Fidesz politician was Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Justice, a Parliamentary State Secretary, and since August 2019, Ministerial Commissioner for the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officials.

[Index]

Biggest stories of the year in Hungarian politics (part 3)

picture of beach

“2021 wasn’t a quiet year by any means for Hungarian domestic politics,” writes Azonnali, which highlights its choices for the nine biggest political stories of the year.

In this third of a three-part series, we’ll highlight the final three of Azonnali’s picks for the top nine stories of the year in Hungarian politics.

You can find part one and part two of this series here.

Hungary’s opposition holds primary elections for joint challengers to Fidesz

Following Fidesz’s electoral victory in 2010 with a two-thirds majority then winning the next two elections (in 2014 and 2018) at similar proportions, Hungary’s opposition finally realized that it could only break the so-called “central power” of the ruling party with a united front and joint candidates.

This is because the new election law adopted by the ruling party in 2011 made it harder to form party alliances by getting rid of two-round elections in favor of a single round. In the previous two-round system, a candidate in one party could step down in favor of another candidate from an allied party in the second round, and thus maximum their overall chances of winning Parliamentary mandates.

The opposition first formed a united front for the municipal elections in 2019. Opposition candidates were able to defeat Fidesz-KDNP candidates in many places where there was a one-to-one matchup, including for the mayor of Budapest, which led to a similar decision to run joint candidates for the 2022 Parliamentary elections.

After a lot of preparatory work, the opposition finally managed to hold Hungary’s first real primary election this past fall with the participation of six opposition parties, generating much higher turnout than expected. In the two rounds held in September and October, voters chose the united opposition’s candidate for prime minister in addition to 106 individual candidates to face the Fidesz-KDNP candidate next year.

Most electoral districts saw a genuine battle between the candidates, as only 11 districts saw an unopposed candidate running for the oppostion’s nomination.

The Democratic Coalition (DK) won most electoral districts: 32 candidates from Ferenc Gyurcsány’s party will be on the ballot in 2022, followed by Jobbik with 29 candidates, then MSZP (18), Momentum (15), Dialogue (6), LMP (4), and the Everybody’s Hungary Movement with 2 candidates.

The two-round battle for the prime ministerial nomination saw two of the five candidates drop out after the first round: Jobbik’s Péter Jakab and András Fekete-Győr of Momentum didn’t make the cut, while DK’s Klára Dobrev, Gergely Karácsony of Dialogue, and Péter Márki-Zay of the Everybody’s Hungary Movement all got the nod to move on to the second round.

But in an unexpected move, Karácsony abruptly dropped out and endorsed Márki-Zay, who went on to defeat Dobrev in the second round and become the united opposition’s candidate for prime minister in the spring 2022 elections.

Pál Völner gets entangled in a corruption scandal

On December 13, the Prosecutor’s General’s Office surprised everyone by issuing a public statement requesting to waive the immunity of Pál Völner, State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice and Member of Parliament.

It was later revealed that Völner was accused of regularly receiving payments of 2-5 million Ft. (US $6,180-$15,450) to do the bidding of the president of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers.

Völner almost immediately resigned as state secretary after that and Parliament suspended his immunity the following week, allowing criminal proceedings to begin.

The opposition has also called on Justice Minister Judit Varga to resign over the matter, noting that she put her trusted deputy Völner in charge of authorizing the Pegasus spyware against civilians.

Völner thus becomes the fourth Fidesz Member of Parliament to be prosecuted since 2010, as Roland Mengyi was previously convicted of corruption, while György Simonka and István Boldog have also faced corruption charges in recent years.

Katalin Novák chosen as Fidesz’s candidate for head of state

Hungary’s Fundamental Law states that the President of Hungary has to be elected directly by Parliament for a five-year term, for a maximum of two terms.

Current President János Áder took office on May 10, 2012, meaning his term will expire on May 10, 2022. Áder’s successor will have to be decided before the Parliamentary elections in April 2022.

It is a near certainty that this person will be Katalin Novák, Minister without Portfolio for Family Affairs until the end of 2021, who Prime Minister Viktor Orbán unexpectedly announced at the end of December as the selected candidate for the ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition.

The nomination of Novák was a surprise, as most observers believed that it would most likely be either former Minister of Justice László Trócsányi, now a Member of the European Parliament, or current House Speaker László Kövér, who also served as head of state following the resignation of Pál Schmitt.

Novák, 44, will be Hungary’s first woman head of state. If elected for two terms, she will still only be 54 when her term expires, and so could take over as party chair of Fidesz if Orbán decides to retire in the meantime.

Other aspects of Novák’s character undoubtedly endear her to the Prime Minister: she is a loyal member of Fidesz, having recently completed a term as the party’s vice-president, and so is expected to faithfully represent the party’s interests whether the opposition wins the election or whether Fidesz is re-elected.

[Azonnali][Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash]

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]

Who is the person referred to as the “master” in the Völner corruption case?

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.

[444]

National Assembly suspends Völner’s Parliamentary immunity

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]

Völner accused of receiving 83 million Ft. in bribes

picture of Pál Völner

The Prosecutor General’s Office believes that Pál Völner (pictured), the former state secretary for legal affairs who resigned last week after it was revealed that he was being investigated for corruption, received a total of 83 million Ft. (US $256,000) in bribes, according to information the Office submitted to the Parliamentary Immunity Committee.

The bribes were offered to Völner as occasional payments of 2-5 million Ft. (US $6,200-$15,400) between May 2018 and July 2021 by György Schadl, the president of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers (MBVK), who is now under arrest due to the case.

The Prosector General’s Office alleges that in exchange for corrupt payments, Pál Völner undertook to abuse his supervisory, official, and administrative powers over judicial officials to rule according to the request of the President of the Chamber, such as when deciding on tenders.

The Prosecutor’s document also reveals that the corrupt relationship between the two officials is suspected to have started at some unspecified date prior to August 2017, and that the two typically met in restaurants or on the street next to Völner’s parked car, where the exchange of money also took place.

The Immunity Committee agreed with suspending the Parliamentary immunity of Pál Völner, who remains an MP in the National Assembly. Parliament is expected to vote on the issue on Tuesday.

Last week, the Prosector General asked to lift Pál Völner’s Parliamentary immunity after claiming that he was a suspect in a bribery case they were investigating. The Fidesz politician resigned his post as secretary of state in the Ministry of Justice, but claimed in a statement that he had not committed a crime.

[HVG]

Fidesz MPs are involved in Völner corruption case, says Hadházy

picture of Pál Völner

Ákos Hadházy thinks that the corruption case against Fidesz politician Pál Völner (pictured) is not really about him at all, but is much “broader,” the independent MP told the program Partizán Spartacus on Sunday night.

The opposition politician claimed that those working in the judicial executor’s office where the alleged corruption took place were practically threatened not to talk about it or risk being fired. However, in the midst of this great secrecy, the authorities also made mistakes, he said.

Among these mistakes were the fact that the existence of an investigation against Völner had been written in a public document. In addition, since information was constantly leaking out about it, after a while the situation was no longer tenable. And so, according to Hadházy the government had no other choice but to let Völner go and make it look like they were dealing with corruption within their own ranks.

On the involvement of others in the government, he said:

It seems very likely that Völner was not the only Fidesz politician who had a hand in these things … there may have been a fairly high level of involvement in Fidesz.

Ákos Hadházy did not provide an answer as to whether there may be involvement at the ministerial level, but said that “for now,” he is convinced that other Fidesz MP are also involved in the affair.

As previously reported, Pál Völner resigned last week as state secretary for legal affairs in the Ministry of Justice after the Prosecutor General asked for his Parliamentary immunity to be lifted. The Fidesz politician left his post as secretary of state, but said in a statement that he had not committed a crime.

[Népszava]

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]

Áder officially accepts Völner’s resignation as State Secretary in corruption affair

picture of Pál Völner

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.

[Index, HVG]

Dialogue calls for immediate Parliamentary action over Völner

picture of Olivio Kocsis-Cake

Opposition party Dialogue has called for the Parliamentary Immunity Committee to convene over the case of Pál Völner, who resigned as State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday.

Olivio Kocsis-Cake, deputy chair of the party (pictured), highlighted in an online press conference on Wednesday that Pál Völner resigned only as deputy minister and state secretary, but not as a Member of Parliament. He stated that Völner could not be prosecuted until his immunity was waived.

If the committee does not meet this week, Parliament’s plenary session next week will not be able to rule on the suspension, and the decision may be delayed for several months due to the Christmas break.

-said the opposition politician.

Kocsis-Cake also thinks that the role of Pál Völner’s superior, Judit Varga, should be examined, since the Minister of Justice “deeply trusted” her former State Secretary. For that matter, criminal proceedings should be investigated “all the way to the Prime Minister, as he was involved, and had known about it for a long time,” claimed Olivio Kocsis-Cake.

On Tuesday, Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt requested waiving Parliamentary immunity for Pál Völner, stemming from an ongoing investigation into accusations of bribery and other crimes against the Fidesz politician.

That same day, Völner released a statement announcing that he would resign as state secretary, although he did not acknowledge any criminal responsibility.

Fidesz later announced in an official statement that it would vote to waive Pál Völner’s immunity.

[Index]

Business owned by family of scandal-plagued Pál Völner worth nearly 1 billion Ft.

picture of Pál Völner

Pál Völner, the Fidesz politician who resigned as State Secretary after an investigation into bribery charges against him by the Prosecutor General’s Office heated up this week (pictured), earns a gross monthly salary of 1.3 million Ft. (US $4,019) as state secretary, and a further 1.2 million Ft. (US $3,710) as a Member of Parliament. In addition, he owns property in Győr and Nyergesújfalu, where he also has a law firm, as well as bank deposits worth 15 million Ft. (US $46,400), reported Népszava.

However, the paper wrote that Völner’s immediate family have far more valuable economic interests, which became profitable following Völner’s appointment as state secretary.

Tagba Kft., a company owned by the politician’s wife and son, is registered as a real estate company. Founded just in 2015, the company very quickly reached turnover of hundreds of millions of forints, while the company’s assets have grown to nearly 1 billion Ft. (US $3.09 million), of which 552 million Ft. (US $1.71 million) are cash.

Völner’s family also has a foothold in the shipping industry, according to Népszava. When Völner was State Secretary for Infrastructure in the Ministry of National Development, the shipping industry was under his portfolio, and his family’s company has also profited since then.

[Magyar Hang]

Pro-government media not all that interested in Völner story

picture of child covering ears

The major organs of the pro-government press barely reported on Pál Völner’s resignation as State Secretary on Tuesday, writes HVG. For the most part, they devoted just a few lines to the major story, omitting most of the details known about the case, if they even reported it at all.

The “propaganda press” preferred not to make a big deal of the news that Prosecutor General Péter Polt had initiated waiving the Parliamentary immunity of Fidesz MP Völner due to suspicions of bribery connected with the President of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers.

Although flagship news site Origo posted three news items on Völner, none of them appeared above the fold on its front page, where accusations against opposition politicians could instead be found. The site’s first article on the story was at 10:23am, simply restating a statement from the prosecutor’s office sent at 8:19am.

At 11:30am, Origo finally reported that Völner had resigned, long after independent media sources had marked it as “extraordinary” news. This story, however, only repeated the press release that had stated the facts of Völner’s resignation. Their third story at 11:50am published a short press release from the Justice Ministry, taken directly from news agency MTI’s report.

Magyar Nemzet treated the matter similarly, although it only published one article on the story. The Hungarian daily referred to the press release from the prosecutor’s office and simply stated the facts of Völner’s resignation, in an article appearing far below the fold on their site.

PestiSrácok did not even report on the story at all until 12:00pm, when the site likewise repeated the Ministry of Justice’s press release and stated that Völner had resigned, declining to delve into any of the specifics.

[HVG]

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]

State Secretary Pál Völner resigns under bribery suspicions

picture of Pál Völner

He has not committed any crimes and performed his duties as State Secretary and Commissioner honestly and in accordance with the law, but he accepts the political consequences of this case, and today Secretary of State Pál Völner is resigning from his position as State Secretary

– announced a press release today from the politician.

The surprise resignation of Fidesz politician Pál Völner (pictured) occurred after Prosecutor General Péter Polt submitted a motion on Tuesday morning to the Speaker of the House to suspend Völner’s Parliamentary immunity as a result of an ongoing investigation into bribery and other crimes.

Until recently, Member of Parliament Pál Völner was a Deputy Minister of the Justice Ministry and Parliamentary State Secretary, as well as Ministerial Commissioner since August 2019.

In the ongoing investigation, the Central Investigative Prosecutor’s Office determined that there was a well-founded suspicion that 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.

According to the accusations against him, Völner took on specific cases at the request of the President of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers, thereby abusing his supervisory, official, and administrative powers.

Völner was also a key figure in the Pegasus spyware scandal that erupted over the summer.

Pál Völner’s Facebook page had around 10,000 followers but has now apparently been shut down.

[Index]