János Lázár convinced Ökotárs operated unlawfully despite all charges being dropped

October 22, 2015


Hungary’s tax authority, NAV, closed its investigation of Norway Civil Fund administrator Ökotárs Foundation and 17 other civil organizations this week. The tax authority says “the organizations operated in accordance with all legal and reporting requirements”.

RTL Klub’s reporters recently asked Minister Overseeing the Office of the Prime Minister János Lázár what he thought of the tax authority’s announcement.

Lázár, who carried out a malicious attack on Norway Civil Fund beneficiary organizations last year with the assistance of his underling, deputy undersecretary Nándor Csepreghy, told RTL Klub that he had “reviewed all the documents” and remains “convinced that Ökotárs was operating unlawfully and was discriminative in how it continuously distributed grants to the same organizations”.

Socialist MP Gergely Bárándy says the tax authority closed their case against Ökotárs because they found the organization was operating in accordance with the law.

“That means [the tax authority] says no crime was committed,” said Bárándy. “They didn’t say that they couldn’t prove a crime was committed or that the organization didn’t do this or that, they said that no crime was committed.”

Despite instructing government auditors to investigate the organizations, Lázár refuses to admit that he was wrong.   It remains to be seen whether he will make good on his earlier promise to apologize to the civil organizations.