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Fertiliser magnate acquitted on charges of accepting kickbacks

Laszlo Bige, the owner of Nitrogenmuvek, Hungary's biggest artificial fertiliser maker, has been acquitted on charges of accepting kickbacks in a final ruling of the Debrecen Appeals Court, in eastern Hungary, the court said in a statement on Wednesday.

Bige had been charged with taking kickbacks from a trader for the partially unbilled sale of artificially discounted product in 2009. According to the charges, thousands of tonnes of fertiliser had been sold in that manner. Bige was alleged to have received a total of 135.4 million forints (EUR 350,000) in kickbacks for several transactions between Jan and Oct 2010.

In the first instance ruling, the court found no evidence the trader had accepted any illegal advantage from the defendant and could not prove a kickback. The appeals court upheld the ruling, the statement said.

The appellate court’s ruling may not be appealed.

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