Illustration - Photo: wikipedia

International arrest warrant issued against former Jobbik MEP Kovacs

A Budapest court has issued a European and international arrest warrant against former Jobbik MEP Bela Kovacs, who has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for espionage and other crimes.

In September 2020, the court issued a first-instance verdict regarding four defendants who were accused by the prosecution of espionage against EU institutions and other crimes, the Budapest District Court said on its website on Wednesday.

Kovacs was first found guilty as an accomplice for serial budget fraud and for using false documents, and was handed a suspended prison sentence of 1.5 years and a 600,000 forint (EUR 1,617) fine.

Subsequently, the appellate court changed the first-instance ruling and declared the one-time opposition politician guilty of preparing to spy against European Union institutions. In September 2022, the sentence was further stiffened to a 5-year prison sentence and a 10-year ban from public life.

A Hungarian arrest warrant was issued in November 2022 when Kovacs failed to appear to serve his sentence, and he is presumed to be abroad.

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