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Tags: Hungary | Parliament | Bribery

Hungarian Deputy Minister Suspected of Accepting Bribes

Tuesday, 07 December 2021 05:01 AM EST

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's chief prosecutor on Tuesday submitted a motion to the speaker of parliament to revoke the parliamentary immunity of a governing party lawmaker who is suspected of accepting bribes and other crimes.

In a statement released Tuesday, Chief Prosecutor Peter Polt wrote that Pal Volner, a lawmaker from the governing Fidesz party who also serves as deputy minister of justice, was being investigated for regularly receiving payments of between 2 million and 5 million Hungarian forints ($6,180-$15,450) in bribes from the president of the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Officers.

According to the statement, Volner, who has served as a commissioner in charge of the chamber since 2019, is suspected of agreeing to handle specific cases in return for the bribes, at the request of the chamber's president.

“Dr. Pal Volner's conduct raises a well-founded suspicion of conspiracy to accept official bribes in a business-like and continuous manner by a senior official who otherwise abuses his official position for advantage,” the statement reads.

The move to revoke Volner's immunity is a rare instance of a high-ranking official in Hungary being targeted by an official investigation. Opposition politicians have long accused prosecutor general Peter Polt, a member of the governing Fidesz party, of failing to pursue cases of corruption involving lawmakers and government officials from his party.

The executive commission of the European Union, of which Hungary is a member, has held up delivery of more than $8 billion in COVID-19 recovery funds to the country over concerns that its spending plan does not contain adequate anti-corruption safeguards.

The EU has also developed a mechanism allowing it to withhold funds from countries suspected of misusing them, a measure that Hungary's government has vigorously opposed.

Criminal proceedings against Volner may be brought if his immunity is revoked, according to the chief prosecutor's statement.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
Hungary's chief prosecutor on Tuesday submitted a motion to the speaker of parliament to revoke the parliamentary immunity of a governing party lawmaker who is suspected of accepting bribes and other crimes. In a statement released Tuesday, Chief Prosecutor Peter Polt wrote...
Hungary,Parliament,Bribery
303
2021-01-07
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 05:01 AM
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