Independent candidate for parliament, Gyurcsany's ally rearrested following release from pre-trial detention

Independent candidate for parliament Csaba Czeglédy, a lawyer who previously represented Democratic Coalition chairman Ferenc Gyurcsány, was arrested last Friday on charges of financial fraud less than one day after his release from pre-trial detention for a related crime.

Previously indicted for budgetary fraud, the Szombathely city assemblymen spent eight and a half months in pre-trial detention before being released on Thursday after registering himself as an independent candidate for parliament. Czeglédy was taken into custody after the Fidesz-controlled National Election Committee, acceding to a request from Chief Prosecutor of Hungary (and former Fidesz politician) Péter Polt, suspended Czeglédy’s immunity from prosecution. Following his arraignment on Monday, Cseglédy’s lawyer told the press that his client’s arrest constituted a violation of his immunity from prosecution in that he had already been granted immunity from the earlier charge of budgetary fraud. At a press conference held on Monday before Czeglédy’s arraignment, Gyucsány accused the government of politicizing an ordinary crime in an attempt to somehow prove “unlawful campaign finances lie behind Czeglédy’s case.” Claiming the authorities were pressuring Czeglédy to give false testimony, Gyurcsány accused Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and ruling party Fidesz of using “extra-political means” to attack their political opponents, saying that in the person of Czeglédy they had “found their man.” Originally accused of failing to pay HUF 6.3 billion (USD 25 million) of VAT and income tax, the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) now accuses Czeglédy of diverting some HUF 148 million (USD 600,000) by authorizing twelve McDonald’s restaurants to remit funds owed Human Operator Kft. to a third-party entity, the IdeHaza Iskolaszövetkezet (“At Home School Cooperative”), despite Human Operator being in court-ordered receivership. As Magyar Nemzet reports: “Gyurcsány is repeatedly affected by the Czeglédy matter: the Szombathely politician lawyer often represented the former head of government, as well as Gyurcsány’s wife’s company, Altus Portfólió Kft.. Previously, at Czeglédy’s request, Gyurcsány lent Human Operator Zrt. HUF 200 million (USD 800,000-ed.).” “Gyurcsány, his wife, Klára Dobrev, and (MEP) Democratic Coalition deputy chairman Csaba Molnár awaited the end of the trial in the court building. For a while they waited in the same corridor with Czeglédy separated by reporters and NAV detectives. “Czeglédy and his partners were originally accused by NAV of conspiring to commit a large budgetary fraud: the tax authority believes the politician’s company, the student work broker Human Operator Zrt., failed to pay HUF 6.3 billion in VAT and income tax. However, prosecutors have found a new case with which to justify Czeglédy’s pre-trial detention: NAV also accuses the politician of committing budgetary fraud.” At a press conference in Budapest on Monday, the Fidesz MP who was appointed “commissioner for investigating the sale of state lands at below market prices” by the new Fidesz government in 2010, Gyula Budai, accused Czeglédy of being the “mutual secret cashier” for the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and Democratic Coalition,” saying this explained why Gyurcsány “had rushed to Czeglédy’s side on Monday.” “Czeglédy Csaba is the mutual secret cashier for Gyurcsány’s party and MSZP,” Budai said. “It is totally obvious that this is why they defend him and do everything to have him released from pre-trial detention in order to exempt him from being held accountable in the criminal proceeding against him … This is why they collected signatures for him and that they wanted to use his immunity from prosecution as a pretext for getting out of pre-trial detention. “Why else would Czeglédy be so important and indispensable to Ferenc Gyurcsány and company and to the Socialist Party?,” asked the governing party politician rhetorically.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 March 2018 14:11