It was not legally established to interrogate Gábor Demszky, former Lord Mayor, in relation to the so called BKV-lawsuit against Miklós Hagyó, former socialist Deputy Lord Mayor, and his co-defendants - said Imre Keresztes, the Chief Prosecutor of the High Prosecutor’s Office of Central Investigations at the press conference taking place on Monday.
The journalists present pointed out that it is a case in which the authorities investigated the responsibility of the Deputy Lord Mayor and Demszky’s former inferiors and the abuses taking place in a company of the capital.
However, the Chief Prosecutor pointed out that the conditions of the interrogation of the leader of the city were not established either as defendant or as witness. Neither the responsible authorities nor the court considered that conclusive evidence could be obtained by interrogating Demszky. Still reacting to the suggestion made by the journalists he added: he is not aware of any intention to “catch” the former Lord Mayor or any advantageous offers made to Miklós Hagyó in exchange for his making incriminating statements on Demszky.
Gábor Demszky also did not make any statements implying that he was being “haunted”. A plea agreement should be treated as state secret – he added.
Imre Keresztes refused the - according to him baseless - assumption that coercion had taken place during the proceedings. In relation to the idea of show trial he said that the investigation had been initiated based on a report to the police and the indictment was based on clear evidence. Answering to the question if political influence was exercised in the case the Chief Prosecutor said: the politicians made their statements which are learnt by the Prosecutor’s Office as well, however the proceedings are not affected by them.
According to the information provided by the Chief Prosecutor the Prosecutor’s Office has lodged appeal against the decision made in the Hagyó-case by the court of first instance.
In case of the accused who were convicted the prosecution lodged an appeal primarily referring to the leniency of the sentences which actually violates the law. Besides the fact that the severity of the sentences does not reach the average of the permissible imposable sentence, the execution of the sentences has been suspended by the court. According to the prosecution such sanctions are not severe enough to deter asset managers in similar positions from committing crimes in the future.
The prosecution is going to appeal against the acquittals made in lack of evidence in order that the guilt be established and the rightful sentences be imposed accordingly. The prosecution believes that the guilt of the accused is proved beyond all doubt in these cases, as well.
The Chief Prosecutor emphasized the aim of the appeals is to find out and reveal the truth accordingly and reach reasonable and correct conclusions.
Imre Keresztes pointed out it is difficult to prove the corrupt activities mentioned in the indictment since it is the joint interest of the involved to have truth unrevealed.
However, worldwide it is the crucial interest of the law enforcement authorities to fight against these kinds of activities and this is the interest of the Hungarian Prosecutor’s Office, as well.
As an example he mentioned: one of the bribers himself - of his own free will, in front of the public – talked about the details of how, when and where exactly the bribery had taken place, however after completing the investigation he withdrew his statement for unknown reasons. He also noted that the briber had not referred to coercion in relation to his incriminating testimony given earlier. According to Imre Keresztes in this case the act of crime should have been established by the court.
The Chief Prosecutor added that the final form and content of the appeal will be determined once the court decision has been issued in a written form. The court of Kecskemét announced its appealable decision at first instance on the 26th of January according to which Miklós Hagyó, first accused was sentenced to two-year imprisonment suspended for four years for abuse of authority and breach of fiduciary duty as inciter. However he was acquitted of bribery.
The court obliged Miklós Hagyó and Zsolt Balogh to pay 39,6 million-forint damages jointly and severally to the BKV in 30 days after the final decision becoming legally binding. The charge of receiving two times 15 million forints against Hagyó was dropped in the lack of evidence.