The prosecutor’s office has ordered an investigation against Jobbik

October 6, 2017

The prosecutor’s office has ordered an investigation against Jobbik 1
Gábor Vona (left) and János Volner at the National Assembly’s October 3 plenary session. Photo: MTI/Tamás Kovács

The prosecutor’s office has ordered an investigation against Jobbik based on a petition by the State Audit Office of Hungary, reports Magyar Nemzet.

According to prosecutor Bettina Bagoly, the Budapest 11th and 22nd district attorneys ordered an investigation against an unknown offender on Friday. The launch of the investigation is based on information received from the State Audit Office of Hungary (ÁSZ) which, “due to a serious suspicion of failure to fulfill obligations in connection with the audit,” petitioned the investigation. The District Attorney has tasked the National Bureau of Investigation (NNI) with conducting the investigation. The investigation’s deadline is December 6, 2017, however, if it is found to be justified, the investigation can be prolonged.

ÁSZ released a statement Tuesday in which it disclosed that it had attempted to begin an audit of Jobbik on August 10. However, the radical-right party reportedly did not cooperate, whereupon ÁSZ turned to the prosecutor’s office. Jobbik later refuted ÁSZ’s claims in a statement, arguing that the party “would still cooperate with the State Audit Office if it wasn’t being obstructed by a political order.”

“Only stinking third-world dictatorships force public institutions to try to get even with the leading force of the opposition,” said leader of Jobbik’s parliamentary delegation János Volner at a press conference in front of ÁSZ’s office Tuesday. Volner stressed that Jobbik has always fulfilled its reporting obligations and aspired to be cooperative with ÁSZ auditors in all fields.

The prosecutor’s office has ordered an investigation against Jobbik
János Volner (left) and Péter Schön (right) in front of the State Audit Office on October 3.
Photo: Facebook/Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom

Volner called it “abnormal” that ÁSZ attempted to start the audit when Jobbik’s financial director was on holiday, citing the five-day time limit in which an audit subject can hand in the required documents.

During the press conference, Volner and Jobbik’s financial director Péter Schön attempted to hand in the required documents to ÁSZ, but the office refused to accept them, arguing that it would be unlawful to do so.

At the same time, ÁSZ maintained that despite multiple requests Jobbik failed to fulfill its obligation to provide data and thereby obstructed the audit. ÁSZ stated that Volner and Schön had “tried to hand in documents and sidestep the law.”

In an interview on national television Thursday evening, the strategic director for the government-tied think-tank Center for Fundamental Rights went so far as to suggest the prosecutor’s office could request Jobbik’s termination. Lawyer and former MP and co-chair of Politics Can Be Different András Schiffer said in in an interview with Lánchíd Rádió, however, that the statement regarding the termination of Jobbik is inaccurate. Schiffer pointed out that the law according to which Jobbik could be terminated was repealed by the Fidesz-KDNP-dominated National Assembly last year.

Based on Index.hu’s reporting, Schiffer also said that the (ÁSZ) attack on Jobbik has nothing to do with the radical-right party’s popularity or the upcoming general election. No government in the last 27 years dared to cross the red line of terminating a rivaling party, Schiffer argued. Instead, this case is not about Jobbik but businessman Lajos Simicska, and when it comes to him “rationality vanishes from Fidesz’s politics,” Schiffer said of the former Fidesz ally and billionaire Simicska, who is suspected to be supporting Jobbik’s election campaign.

“It is the country’s shame that the duel between [Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán and Simicska is suffered by ten million people,” Schiffer said. Even though “they were accomplices in seizing power and money. […] this story is not about the percentages of Jobbik, but how these two men can massacre each other,” he concluded.