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Hidveghi: Fraud suspected around Chain Bridge revamp

A recent report by the Government Control Office (KEHI) raises the suspicion of a "serious misuse" of funds concerning the renovation of Budapest's Chain Bridge, a municipal project, Balazs Hidveghi said on Friday.

Hidveghi, the municipal election campaign chief of mayoral candidate Alexandra Szentkiralyi, told a press conference that the city had dropped a deal negotiated with the previous leadership and awarded a contract to another company, which was 5.5 billion forints (EUR 14m) more expensive. The agreement also authorised a payment to A-Hid, the contractor, to receive an advance fifty times higher than that in the earlier contract,” he added.

During construction, A-Hid regularly transferred monies, amounting to a total 1.5 billion forints, to Sunstrike Hungary Ltd, the chief of which company, Mor Vig, is now in pre-trial detention, Hidveghi said. Those transfers, he suggested, were regularly followed by cash withdrawals.

“The legitimate question arises why a contract with limited scope cost more and why such a large amount of money needed to be transferred to Sunstrike Hungary . where is all that money?” Hidveghi said and urged that Mayor Gergely Karacsony should provide an explanation.

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