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Parliament suspends immunity of Socialist lawmaker

Parliament suspended the immunity of Socialist lawmaker Zsolt Molnar over ongoing investigations of graft and trade in influence.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office had requested Molnar’s immunity to be suspended as he is suspected of requesting a bribe of 40 million forints (EUR 102,000) to allow a deal between the Budapest municipality and the sole applicant for a tender for IT purchases for the city’s public transport company BKK in 2019.

The graft is alleged to have occurred through another Socialist dignitary, Ferenc Baja, Janos Hargitai, the head of the committee for immunity matters, told parliament. Baja, then the government commissioner for information technology affairs, had asked for 30 million forints to refrain from hindering the deal through his influence with municipality dignitaries, he said.

The charges against Molnar would constitute trading in influence, a felony under Hungarian law, the prosecutor’s office said.

In his reply, Molnar noted he himself had requested his immunity to be suspended in February 2022, “trusting that the prosecutor’s office will investigate the case fairly”. Molnar called the procedure a “show trial”.

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