A news came to light in the Hungarian media in March 2010 which shocked the whole country. This served the proof to the ones who criticize the Gyurcsány-government that the socialist-liberal administration is rotten to the core. This prejudice has been created successfully by the right-wing media.
The declaration of Zsolt Balogh, former general manager of Budapest Public Transport (BKV) caused this huge stir controversy, which was about to pay fifteen million forints a year to Miklós Hagyó, former vice-mayor of Budapest, who blackmailed him. Due to the interview the second fifteen million forints were given personally by Zsolt Balogh to Hagyó in a Nokia-box. Due to Balogh’s allegation he was threatened by the vice-mayor that he would disclose the illegal certificate of completion of the HÉV passenger displays, signed for CC Soft Kft. if Balogh failed to pay the amount claimed.
The subject of the interview depicts Miklós Hagyó as an uncultured dictator who terrorizes his “people” with a touch of Mafia leader who asks his young employee during his lunch: “You’ll be?” And then he instructs: “be tough…’cause here the things have to be done. No mercy to anyone who fails…his throat has to be cut!” – Now the reader may feel to watch The Godfather movie where the ruthless Mafia leader gives order to his threatened servants.
In spite of the fact that both of the above articles publish the words of Zsolt Balogh – that is not the thought of the journalist – the reader may have the feeling that these are solid rock, proven facts. This can happen since in 2010 and the prior years the right-wing media kept on emphasizing the picture of the “left-liberal government that sold and robbed the country during the last eight years” so that it grabbed the society’s mind and so the story of an interviewee could be treated as pure truth.
The right-wing has created an atmosphere with the tools of the mass media that is ruled by the desire of a moral catharsis in which the vast majority of the society was inclined to neglect its capability of sober analysis and evaluation; it ate what was served by that media. So the targeted media-campaign managed to make the people believe Miklós Hagyó and the Nokia box are connected and thus became the symbol of the corruption.
This corruption scandal was set by the Hungarian News Agency (MTI) like a proven state of affairs, a crime committed by Miklós Hagyó without any doubt. There were few who doubted. The others were pleased to accept the accusation against Miklós Hagyó for fraudulent misuse of funds committed in crime organization.
However if we examined the criminal sweet news stuffed with prejudices in the shop window and how the indictment was prepared I am pretty sure that your hunger would go away.
Nokia box in the indictment – accusation requirements
The Nokia-box-blackmail issue being one of the biggest Mafia crimes in the country appears only in a few sentences in the indictment:
“Miklós Hagyó accused of I order as the Deputy-Mayor of the Metropolis having abused his official power ordered Zsolt Balogh accused of IV order as the CEO of BKV to give him HUF 15,000,000 per year. In order to claim the contribution Miklós Hagyó envisaged the possibility of hamstringing Zsolt Balogh on the basis of the improper statements on completion signed in favor of CC Soft Kft. in December 2007. By the above conduct and his violent behavior Miklós Hagyó aroused fear in Zsolt Balogh who as a result of this gave 15 Million Forints to Miklós Hagyó in the years of 2008 and 2009 as undue and illegal benefit."
It is observable that the description of blackmail and bribery is so general in the indictment and the elements of the state of affairs like the exact place and date of the money handover are totally missing, it only defines the year.
It is worth to know the conditions of how to accuse someone in a country where the rule of law exists. It is the Act XIX of 1998 on the criminal procedure that defines those fundamental principles which guarantee the accused shall not be judged with the absence of crime.
Out of these principles we have to underline the principle of prosecution that is the requirement of the legal prosecution and on the other hand the legal stipulations regarding the burden of proof.
End of part one...