Peter Marki-Zay (Illustration) - Photo: Facebook

National Information Centre: US civil organisation transfers over HUF 3 billion prior to general election

The US-based Action for Democracy civil organisation transferred 1.8 billion forints (EUR 4.4m) worth of funding to the Everyone's Hungary Movement (MMM) and an additional 1.15 billion to three Hungarian companies last spring and summer, Brigadier General Zoltan Andras Kovacs, the director general of the National Information Centre (NIK), said in a written response to Zoltan Sas, the head of parliament's national security committee.

Sas, a lawmaker for opposition Jobbik, announced earlier on Wednesday that he had initiated at the committee’s meeting on Nov. 17 the publishing of a report compiled by the Hungarian secret services on foreign funding for political organisations. He said that the information received had been posted on the national security committee’s website.

In his letter, the NIK director said that because investigations were still ongoing by the national tax and customs authority on suspicion of financial fraud and by the national investigation bureau of Hungarian police on suspicion of embezzlement and money laundering, only parts of the material in the report had been declassified. He said NIK would carry out an analysis and evaluation of information and compile a summary. NIK is also analysing how the Hungarian recipients spent the money they had received from abroad.

Kovacs noted that since Hungarian and EU laws prohibit any form of funding for political parties from abroad, “it makes the national security aspect of the case more complex”.

Commenting on the report’s declassification, Mate Kocsis, the group leader of ruling Fidesz, said he in the first place wanted to point out that the Hungarian political left had kept the foreign funding a secret prior to the general election and later denied any connection with foreign financiers. “If we only look at the amount of foreign funding transferred to left-wing parties running in the elections, it is still four times the amount Hungarian parties were entitled to receive in central campaign financing. This fact alone seriously violates the country’s sovereignty,” Kocsis said on Facebook.

Last August, Peter Marki-Zay, the one-time opposition candidate for prime minister and leader of MMM, said in a podcast that they had received several hundred million forints from people in the United States.

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