The trial of Fidesz MP Roland Mengyi (pictured) – also known as “Lord Voldemort” – began on Wednesday at the Pest Central District Court in Budapest, reports news site Index.hu. On the first day of trial the prosecutor read out the indictment.
Mengyi is the sixth defendant in the case and is accused of being an accomplice in budgetary fraud committed in a criminal organization causing particularly great financial damage. He is also accused of bribery.
Before the first hearing, Mengyi told the press that there is a misunderstanding in the background of the case and that he did not commit the alleged offence. Mengyi also stated that he had not received any commentary from Fidesz because this is not a political case, and it has nothing to do with Fidesz even if many people wish to fabricate a political case out of it.
Using the codename “Lord Voldemort”, Mengyi is accused of soliciting bribes he called “constitutional costs”, totaling HUF 10 million (USD 32,000). He allegedly promised to arrange for an EU tender worth hundreds of millions of forints in EU funds to be awarded in exchange for receiving a portion of the funds. The tender was eventually rejected, but information regarding Mengyi’s actions were leaked to the press and soon he became a suspect.
An overlooked aspect of the case is that the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) had been surveilling Mengyi and the applying foundation before the scandal erupted, and planned to mount a sting operation against Mengyi. However, the operation was not authorized and according to the defendants’ testimonies, somebody “higher up the chain” tipped them off.
Despite contradictory testimonies, prosecutors declined to start an independent investigation into Mengyi’s alleged connections at the Ministry of Human Resources.