Letter probes Interior Minister Sándor Pintér about alleged underworld connections

February 14, 2017

Politics Can Be Different (LMP) co-chairs Bernadett Szél and Ákos Hadházy have formally submitted a letter to Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér (pictured right) inquiring about his possible underworld connections and that of prominent Fidesz politicians. The letter, titled “Can you confirm that you have never met personally with Dietmar Clodo?”, aims to get to the bottom of rumors that Pintér and other Fidesz politicians colluded with underworld figures in the early 1990s while the party was still in opposition.

Clodo is a suspected international arms and drug trafficker who was sentenced to ten years in prison for his role in a series of bombings in Hungary in the 1990s. He was extradited to Germany in 2005 where he was wanted on charges of murder, bank robbery, and other serious crimes.

In written testimony given to German authorities last year, Clodo claimed that he had personally delivered money to Sándor Pintér on numerous occasions, and even claimed to have filmed himself handing a bag to Viktor Orbán (pictured left) containing one million German marks in his home office. Szél and Hadházy are concerned such a recording was obtained by the Russian secret services, and that it is being used by Russia to blackmail the Hungarian prime minister.

Below is a translation of the letter.

Dear Minister:

In written testimony submitted in Regensburg on June 15th, 2016, Dietmar Clodo, infamous as the “bombmaker” for the Hungarian underworld who was sentenced to prison in the 1990s, claimed that between 1993 and 1996 you were one of several people who showed up at his flat at Meggy Utca 19 in Budapest’s 3rd District and took delivery of German marks. Clodo claims that between 1993 and 1996 you yourself acted as a broker between Szemjon Judkovics Magiljevics and numerous leaders connected to Hungarian government organs, typically in politics and law enforcement, and that you were among those individuals who exercised influence over state organs. 

In an interview aired on Austria’s ORF television channel in October 2016, Clodo clarified his testimony by stating that you took delivery once a month of 10,000 German marks in cash from Magiljevics in exchange for which you arranged for authorities to turn a blind eye to his illegal activities in Hungary. Dietmar Clodo further claims in his written testimony that shortly before the 1994 general election Magiljevics’ interpreter delivered a bag containing one million German marks which he was to personally deliver to Viktor Orbán. According to Clod’s testimony, the then Fidesz chairman, after some hesitation, personally appeared at Clodo’s flat in the company of an older gentleman, and took delivery of the bag containing one million marks.  

According to Russia’s The Insider, video recordings of such transactions were secretly prepared in Clodo’s flat with the help of a camera that was hidden on a bookshelf. According to the newspaper, the Russian secret service took possession of the recording as part of an informal plea bargain with Magiljevics after he was arrested in Moscow in 2008.

In light of this information, please answer the following questions:

  1. Do you maintain your 1999 position that you have never personally met Dietmar Clodo?
  2. Did you ever personally meet with Szemjon Judkovics Magiljevics?
  3. Did you ever receive money from Magiljevics, either in German marks or any other denomination, or from someone accompanying Magiljevics, including Dietmar Clodo?
  4. Did you have any knowledge of the Russian government or secret service or any other state power organs possessing moving images of you receiving cash in an envelope, bag, or any other carrier?
  5. Do you have any knowledge of the Russian government or secret services or any official organs possessing moving pictures of Viktor Orbán taking delivery of cash in an envelope, bag or any other carrier?
  6. Do you have any knowledge of Szemjon Judkovics Magiljevics giving money either on a single occasion or regularly to individuals having influence over the decisions of Hungarian state organs during the time he resided in Hungary?

I await an answer!

Budapest, February 13th, 2017.

Sincerely yours,

Bernadette Szél, member of parliament (LMP)

Ákos Hadházy, member of parliament (LMP)

In an interview given to HVG in 2013, Clodo reportedly told the print weekly that Magiljevics (a.k.a. Uncle Szeva) asked him to perform the following favor:

“I was to call a number, he said which Hungarian politician’s number it was, and to invite the person to my home office and to give him a bag. I was to insist that the politician open the bag. This was not an accident: I had to record the events using a camera hidden behind a book in my library. There were one million marks in the bag.”

Although HVG refused to publish the name of the Hungarian politician, it was later alleged to be then Fidesz chairman, Viktor Orbán.