It turns out László Vizoviczki knew Fidesz Vice-President Gábor Kubatov well enough to ask his assistance in getting him out of pre-trial detention after law enforcement cracked down on him. Kubatov is not denying that he knows Vizoviczki, but there is a lot of speculation of late as to what led to Vizoviczki being released on bail.
Who is László Vizoviczki?
László Vizoviczki was the undisputed king of nightlife from the mid-1990s all the way to 2012 when Hungarian law enforcement finally cracked down on him. His story is certainly one for the books. It has been alleged that A LOT of officials were on his payroll — employees of the Budapest 5th District city hall, police, and so on.
Vizoviczki started building his business empire shortly after the fall of communism. Within years, the former cab driver-turned entrepreneur became a prominent figure in the criminal/political underworld. But all that changed in 2012.
He is also tied to the infamous “oil dying scandal” of the 1990s whereby heating oil (which was not subject to VAT) was sold as diesel fuel after changing its color, thus depriving the government of hundreds of billions of forint in lost tax revenues.
Zsolt Sarkadi of Hungarian news site 444.hu spent eight months researching Vizoviczki’s rise to power, and has reviewed thousands of pages of evidence used by prosecutors against the former nightlife kingpin.
Sarkadi has written three pieces on Vizoviczki:
- How Vizoviczki became the king of Budapest nightlife,
- Vizoviczki’s political connections in Budapest’s 5th District,
- What has happened to Vizoviczki’s empire since his arrest, and who has benefited from it.
Currently, Vizoviczki is being prosecuted in two separate trials: one trial has to do with alleged financial fraud/tax evasion, the other (which is closed to the public) has to do with alleged bribery.
Since being arrested on May 31st, 2012, Vizoviczki has been rotating in and out of pre-trial detention in a very strange manner. He has been released from pre-trial detention to house arrest four times in the past four years. Recently, Vizoviczki was released from pre-trial detention after posting some USD 1 million bail. Many have suggested that the dirt he has on leading Fidesz politicians contributed to his being released on bail.
A letter obtained by far-right Jobbik’s internet news channel N1TV suggests Vizoviczki can thank his political connections for constantly getting him out of pre-trial detention.
According to N1TV, investigators discovered the copy of the letter at Vizoviczki’s residence during a search in 2013.
In this letter, Vizoviczki addresses Gábor Kubatov and asks for the Fidesz politician’s assistance in getting out of pre-trial detention in exchange for “the assistance provided during the campaign” and for “criminal information not connected to Fidesz politicians.”
Although the letter remained in the custody of prosecutors, it was never submitted to the court.
Kubatov claims he gave the letter he received to the police after he received it. He also does not deny that he personally knows Vizoviczki.
“I’m sorry, but I’m a politician. My job is to meet people and I even met with him,” Kubatov said at a press conference on Thursday.
In fact, the two even went to the same preschool, according to Index.hu. Kubatov claims to have met Vizoviczki twice: first during the preschool celebration featured in the image above, and then again when Vizoviczki approached him to discuss investing in the Ferencváros Football Club (Fradi). Kubatov, who is the president of the club, claims to have declined Vizoviczki’s offer to invest in the club.
We will publish more on this story as it continues to evolve.
The What’s Up With Hungary podcast recently covered Vizoviczki’s rise to power and significance in the criminal underworld with Zsolt Sarkadi. To listen to the podcast, click on the play button below.