A second-level court has ruled that the National Development Ministry (NFM) must release all relevant documentation relating to last year’s tobacco concession tender, according to Democratic Coalition (DK) deputy chairman Csaba Molnar.
The creation of national tobacco franchises threatened the livelihood of tens of thousands of small shopkeepers and created an enormous black market for tobacco products. With few exceptions the 7000-plus concessions were awarded to prominent Fidesz supporters and/or friends or relatives of prominent Fidesz politicians, many of whom had no previous retailing experience.
According to Molnar the court ordered the ministry to disclose the names of the committee members responsible for reviewing applications for national tobacco concessions, along with their written evaluations and minutes documenting the decision-making process.
The lawsuit was brought against the ministry by Molnar and a law office in June 2013. A November 2013 first-level court ruling obliging NFM to release all documentation relating to the tender was appealed by the ministry.
NFM has not commented on the ruling on the grounds that it has yet to receive a copy of the second-level decision.
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