Corruption watchdog NGOs to report deputy PM to tax authority over hunting trips

March 15, 2018

Source: Magyar Nemzet

Transparency International Hungary and K-monitor will report Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén to the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) in connection with hunting trips in Sweden reportedly paid for by multiple EU grant recipient and government-tied businessman József Farkas, reports Magyar Nemzet.

According to the anti-corruption NGOs’ statement, Semjén as an MP is prevented by law from accepting gifts like the pricey hunting trips financed by Farkas. The NGOs cite the National Assembly law according to which “representatives cannot accept such gifts or other free allowances in connection with their representative assignment, that exceeds the prevailing monthly honorarium of representatives.”

The NGOs argue that Semjén could not have covered the costs of the hunting trips from his legal income, and therefore the trips can be considered obliging, and public servants cannot accept obliging offers.

Transparency International recalled that since 2010, companies of Farkas’s business network received over HUF 3.3 billion in EU grants and public procurements. The NGOs assume that Farkas offered the hunting trips to Semjén to express his gratitude for his companies’ success in public procurements.

Transparency International also called on the parliament’s immunity committee to conduct an inquiry into Semjén’s hunting trips.