The Parliamentary Immunity Committee has joined the ranks of regulatory bodies that refuse to investigate politicians for alleged corruption. The committee rejected a request by Együtt (Together) co-chair Péter Juhász and 108 other co-petitioners to conduct an asset declaration investigation against Hungary’s so-called propaganda minister Antal Rogán (pictured). The committee dismissed the requests as “obviously baseless, because they do not meet the basic criteria set out in the asset declaration process,” index.hu reports.
Juhász, a District 5 assemblyman who has long accused Rogán of corruption and criminal misconduct, claimed in his petition that “high-value renovation work was conducted between autumn 2015 and spring 2016” on a summer home in Balatonlelle partially owned by Rogán. Juhász, citing a report by investigative journalism site atlatszo.hu, claimed that the extensive work would have cost several million forints, whereas Rogán’s declared financial assets at the ends of 2014 and 2015 showed that his savings-to-debt ratio had remained unchanged, suggesting that his asset declarations don’t correspond to reality.
“During that time, and since then as well, the minister’s earnings came exclusively from his role as a representative and minister,” Juhász wrote in the petition. “So it cannot be seen from the reported data from what sources the minister covered the renovation costs.”
In its statement, the committee wrote that “the initiatives do not contain the kind of specific allegations related to the contents of an asset declaration which would specifically indicate the offending part and contents of the asset declaration, nor does the asset declaration form itself contain or prescribe the obligation to make a notification of real estate renovations or maintenance.”
After receiving Juhász’s petition, the committee asked Rogán to make a statement. In reply, the Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office wrote that he had filled out his asset declaration properly, and that Juhász was seeking information not related to his asset declaration, and therefore he was under no obligation to answer.