The Central Prosecutor’s Office has dropped an investigation against former Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. The case was abandoned for “lack of sufficient evidence”, prosecutor Imre Keresztes told state news agency MTI last Friday. Gyurcsány responded by rounding on his accusers and demanding the resignation of Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt, a former electoral candidate for the ruling Fidesz party, whom he accused of acting on political orders.
Gyurcsány followed up on Wednesday, when he wrote on his Facebook page that the official notification he received from the prosecution office did not speak merely of a “lack of evidence” but said the investigation was dropped because “on the basis of the investigation it cannot be established that a crime was committed”. The investigation related to a land-swap deal in 2008 connected to a billion-dollar project to create a casino complex on the shores of Lake Velence. The main backer of the project part-exchanged ordinary farmland in the acquisition of state-owned prime lakeside real estate, a deal which has since been cancelled by the courts.
András Schiffer, a member of the newly formed green-liberal protest party LMP, lodged a formal complaint against Gyurcsány in 2009. The party, which had protested against the planned development on environmental grounds, claimed Gyurcsány abused his authority to push through the deal.
LMP shifts focus
The LMP would not comment on the announcement by the prosecutor’s office, Schiffer told MTI. He said that two years after the change of government there has been no clarification of the “chaotic affairs” of the period. Schiffer listed an aborted project to build a new “government quarter” near Nyugati railway station, the overdue and over-budget M4 metro line, the expensive renovation of Margit Bridge and motorway constructions.
The LMP has since turned its attention to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s centre-right government, whose accountability drive Schiffer dismissed as “pure deception”. The government “occasionally rattles the handcuffs over the heads of the Socialists” but is not interested in facilitating real accountability because then “Fidesz oligarchs would also be held to account after a change of government”, he said.