Budapest prosecutors will not investigate Rogán for corruption

July 27, 2016

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Budapest prosecutors will not open an investigation into Antal Rogán for abuse of office, reports daily online Index.hu. This story is connected to the defamation lawsuit filed by Rogán against Budapest 5th District councilman Péter Juhász.

For the past two years, Juhász has accused former Budapest District 5 mayor Antal Rogán of corruption. Rogán, who during that time also headed Fidesz’s parliamentary delegation, has since been appointed to lead the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, a ministerial position created just for him by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and parliament.

The defamation case

In short, Rogán sued Juhász for defamation for claiming the Fidesz politician was doing business with criminals as mayor of the 5th District. To back up his story, Juhász secured the testimony of Tamás 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 informal advisor to the prime minister Árpád Habony’s aunt), acquire a municipally-owned apartment for well below market value.

The criminal complaints that followed

Following Portik’s appearance in court, two people filed a criminal complaint with the prosecutors (serial criminal complainer István Tényi and Dialogue for Hungary parliamentarian Tímea Szabó) because of Portik’s claim to have given the bribe to Rogán. So, the prosecutors ordered a feljelentéskiegészítés, a kind of mini-investigation to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to open an investigation.

Index.hu reports that the prosecutor’s office notified Tényi that the inquiry had been called off because there is no grounded suspicion that a crime had been committed.

According to the prosecutors, Portik’s allegations were not specific enough about the money he claimed to have given Rogán or the location.

Portik said he gave Rogán HUF 10 million in Euros, but nothing beyond that. According to the prosecutor’s office, Portik’s statements in court are not grounds for opening an investigation because he did not go into detail over “precisely how many Euros” he gave Rogán, “where that money came from, in what denominations the money was broken into, or other such details that would make his statement more credible”, all of which “resulted in a lack of sufficient suspicion to open a criminal investigation”.

On a side note

Following Portik’s appearance in court, Rogán filed his own criminal complaint against Portik, claiming he had lied to the court about giving him a bribe. The prosecutor’s office rejected Rogán’s criminal complaint.