Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Prosecutors drop probe into recording of former justice minister’s private conversation

Prosecutors have dropped the investigation into voice recordings of former justice minister Judit Varga's private conversation published by her former husband, Peter Magyar.

Magyar, the leader of the Respect and Freedom (Tisza) party, alleged that the recordings proved that the documents of a criminal trial had been tampered with, as well as other wrongdoing.

He was heard as a witness in the case, along with Varga, cabinet minister Antal Rogan and Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office. All witnesses said they knew of no corruption case where officials had failed their duty to report to the authorities, the head of the Prosecution Investigation Office’s chief, Pal Furcht, told a press conference on Thursday.

One procedure connected to a corruption case incriminating former state secretary Pal Volner and Gyorgy Schadl, the former head of the Hungarian Chamber of Bailiffs, was closed for lack of evidence of a crime because no officials were found who knew of the graft before the launch of the procedure, Furcht said.

Regarding allegations that documents of the Volner-Schadl case had been redacted, Furcht said the documents had not been manipulated, and the Metropolitan Investigation Prosecutor’s Office had assessed all data according to the relevant legislation. The investigation concluded that the recordings contained instances of “Judit Varga sharing gossip with her husband”, he said.

The notion that the documents had been redacted was “outrageous and surreal”, he added.

Further, he said the recorded conversation contained factual errors excluding the possibility that the information had come from the prosecution’s documents or from a person familiar with those documents.

The documents themselves were stored in multiple copies at multiple locations, including with the defence and the suspects themselves, making redaction impossible, he said.

The investigation into those allegations was terminated for lack of suspicion that a crime had been committed, he said.

Katalin Kovacs, the spokeswoman of the prosecutor’s office, said investigators heard nine witnesses and reviewed some 17,000 pages of documents.

Due to a lack of evidence during the investigation, it could not be clarified whether Volner had received information about the ongoing investigation against him, which is why the investigative prosecutor’s office terminated the investigation.

“The prosecutor’s office has taken action in all suspicious cases, taken those responsible to court and ensured that a criminal procedure was conducted. All allegations regarding the voice recording were proven to be unequivocally false,” Kovacs said. The decision is not binding, she added.

Leave a Reply