In central bank governor György Matolcsy’s case, no intent means no crime

June 26, 2015

Matolcsy

“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”.  – George Orwell

Two months ago Hungarian news site magyarnarancs.hu reported that central bank governor György Matolcsy had neglected to include in his mandatory declaration of personal assets the HUF 1.18 million monthly “honorarium” he receives each month from central bank foundations created under his governorship. Public officials in Hungary are required by law to list all sources of income.

When asked about the discrepancy, Matolcsy claimed he gave the money to charity and for this reason the income does not constitute “spendable income” and needn’t be reported as taxable income in his declaration of assets.

It seems central bank vice-president Ferenc Gerhardt had the same exact problem!

Opposition party Democratic Coalition (DK) earlier called on Hungarian prosecutors to open an investigation into Matolcsy and Gerhardt for failing to report income.

Hungarian news site 444.hu recieved a copy of the prosecutors` explanation of what happened. The prosecutors agree that the objective facts presented certainly indicate that a crime had been committed, but “the individuals never directly received the payments…. and the individuals did not believe these funds constituted personal income. As a consequence, it cannot be concluded that the individuals deliberately provided misleading information [on the asset declarations]. There is no crime in the absence of intent.”

Referenced in this article:

Így mentegeti az ügyészség Matolcsyék téves vagyonnyilatkozatát, hvg.hu; 25 June 2015.