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Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó denies he is under investigation

Following a report by independent RLT Klub that the Hungarian Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) was looking into the personal finances of Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement to MTI.

“Regarding the baseless statements being in the press, the truth is that the tax authority has not launched an investigation into Péter Szijjártó. If the tax authority would have launched an investigation into Péter Szijjártó, they would have notified him by mail. There was no such notification sent to him, therefore, no such investigation is being performed because the tax authority found no reason to launch an investigation.”

Independent MP Ágnes Vadai (Democratic Coalition) reportedly asked NAV to investigate Szijjártó’s personal finances after revelations that a company owned by his ministry had deposited hundreds of billions of forints worth of securities with financial brokerage house Quaestor.  The withdrawal of those securities allegedly triggered the collapse of Quaestor’s bond selling and securities trading business units at the beginning of March.

Prior to his appointment as minister at the end of September 2014, Szijjártó, who is also a member of parliament, served for just over three months as an undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Earlier Szijjártó served for two years as an undersecretary for foreign trade at the Office of the Prime Minister.

In her recently published memoirs of the three years she spent in Budapest as ambassador to Hungary, Elena Kounalakis alleges that it was Szijjártó who brokered the extradition to Azerbaijan of convicted Azeri ax-murderer Ramil Safarov.

Shortly after replacing Tibor Navracsics as foreign minister in September 2014, it was reported that Szijjártó had purchased a palatial home in Dunakeszi. He offered contradictory explanations as to the origins of the funds used to purchase the home.

Referenced in this article:

Szijjártó Péter ellen vagyonosodási vizsgálatot indított a NAV, Index.hu; 8 May 2015.

Benjamin Novak :