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ASZ head: Opposition parties’ fine over foreign campaign financing ‘as yet undecided’

The State Audit Office (ASZ) has yet to decide regarding a fine imposed on opposition parties for accepting foreign campaign donations ahead of last year's general election, the head of ASZ told MTI on Tuesday.

Laszlo Windisch reacted to press reports suggesting that the six parties running on a joint list could be fined 3.2 billion forints (EUR 8.6m) in total.

ASZ launched an investigation into the matter in March, on suspicions that the donations had constituted unlawful party financing and that the opposition parties had violated Hungarian election law by accepting them.

Windisch confirmed that ASZ had sent a draft of its partial report to the parties, adding that the sum of the fine would be set on the basis of a report being currently prepared by the tax and customs authority.

He noted that ASZ had initiated consultations with the opposition parties before concluding its final report.

ASZ has no powers to levy a fine or issue a ruling, and legal consequences of their investigations are defined by the relevant legislation, Windisch said. At the same time, ASZ has the right and obligation to define the amount the parties had received in unlawful party financing, he said. “Details can be discussed after [the report] has been published, ASZ will not react to partial information circulated by the press,” Windisch added.

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