The Budapest Prosecutor’s Office has ordered an investigation against criminal Tamás Portik for allegedly perjuring himself in a defamation lawsuit filed by Minister Antal Rogán against Budapest 5th District councilman Péter Juhász. The convicted felon told the court that he had paid a HUF 10 million bribe to then-District 5 mayor Rogán (pictured).
Fidesz politician Rogan sued anti-corruption crusader Péter Juhász for defamation for claiming he was a “criminal”. Juhász countered by securing the testimony of Portik, a notorious underworld figure currently serving time for ordering the murder of a competitor.
Portik appeared in court and told the judge that he personally knew Rogán and had given him a bribe of HUF 10 million in euros for helping his then-girlfriend, Marianna Pápa (who happens to be the aunt of informal advisor to the prime minister Árpád Habony), acquire a municipally-owned apartment for well below market value.
Three complaints, one investigation
Portik’s testimony prompted both serial criminal complainer István Tényi and Dialogue for Hungary parliamentarian Tímea Szabó to report Rogán to prosecutors on suspicion of having accepted a bribe.
Rogán responded by filing a criminal complaint against Portik, claiming he had lied to the court about giving him a bribe.
Prosecutors refused to open an investigation into the powerful Fidesz politician, claiming that Portik’s allegations were not specific enough, as he had failed to specify the precise form in which he gave the money to Rogán, and for this reason “there is no grounded suspicion that a crime had been committed”.
The minister’s complaint, on the other hand, has prompted the prosecutor to open an investigation.
Sold under market value
While the complaints against Rogán were dismissed, Hungary’s highest court, the Curia, ruled a month ago in a separate case that properties in Budapest’s fifth district were indeed sold under their market value during his mayorship.
The properties are at Károly körút 22-24, one of the best and most valuable places to run a business in central Budapest. Leftish print daily Népszabadság uncovered the story last January, claiming that the property, which was sold by the council for HUF 240 million (USD 840,000), was actually worth substantially more.