2013. január 5., szombat

November 29th Hearing: ‘The Accusations Are Unrealistic’

November 29th Hearing: ‘The Accusations Are Unrealistic’

On Thursday, November 29th, 2012 the trial of the Budapest Public Transport Company (BKV) reconvened in the city of Kecskemét, Hungary.  This time the eleventh defendant, Mr. László Szalai, followed suit by claiming innocence from all appropriate charges.  Szalai, who began working at BKV in 1987 and had climbed the managerial ladder to become the head of the corporate development division in 2007, is charged with assisting in the alleged criminal organization by signing off on contracts which were financially detrimental to the public company. 
The former high level manager claimed, however, that the basis of the accusations against him and the other defendants are not realistic.  According to him, one needs to only look at the timeline of events. 
For example, he explained, of the four contracts under investigation three were signed in 2006.  The significance of that being that according to the formal indictment the so-called “criminal organization” that was operated by the BKV upper management and overseen by Miklós Hagyó was not even active at that time.  As Szalai reminded the court, the indictment lists the time period of the alleged criminal activities to have occurred from January 2007 until August 2008.  At that time in 2008, Zsolt Balogh, the fourth defendant and who served as interim CEO of BKV, was replaced by Dr. István Kocsis.
Szalai went on in his effort to disprove details in the indictment.  This time, his target was the described financial situation of the public transport company.  As listed within the formal charges, BKV was indebted approximately 100 billion forint (a little more than 451 million USD at time of writing [ATW]).  According to the defendant, the debt was actually closer to 70 billion forint (approximately $316 million ATW) – still a significant amount.  The problems were not coming from annual losses, though, stated Szalai.  Instead, he insisted, BKV was perpetually “under-funded.”
Szalai also pointed out to the court that under the supervision of Miklós Hagyó, BKV was operating at around 10 billion forint under the annual budgets.  That is a fact which the prosecution has also acknowledged. 
Once again returning to the contracts, Szalai stated that he had no idea why he, Hagyó, and the others were being accused of forcing these contracts – which he noted weren’t negatively affecting the company – when the they were already “active” once the Hagyó administration took the reins.

Source: http://thehagyocase.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/november-29th-hearing-the-accusations-are-unrealistic/

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