The European Union’s Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has launched an investigation against radical nationalist Jobbik MEP Béla Kovács on suspicion of abuse of funds and fraud, Hungarian news portal Origo reported. Kovács was accused by the Hungarian authorities during last years’ European Parliament Elections campaign, that he worked for the Russian secret intelligence service. Both Jobbik and Kovács denied the claims, however the MEP will face the hearing of EP’s Justice Committee in April.
OLAF suspects that Béla Kovács abused funds available for employing interns and assistants. OLAF has launched an investigation against former Jobbik MEP Csanád Szegedi as well. Both politicians had access to a monthly 21,000 euros for that purpose, Origo said. The Origo report suggested that Kovács had employed a former parliamentary assistant on paper only and Szegedi similarly employed two people, including current Jobbik deputy leader Előd Novák. It is also suspected that the MEPs abused the expense allocation available to cater for 108 visitors a year. Origo said that such visitors, including students from Transylvania and western Ukraine, were placed in low-cost accommodation, yet the price of high-quality accommodation was claimed as expense.
Former Jobbik MEP Csanád Szegedi described the allegations as unfounded. MEP Béla Kovács told Origo that OLAF had not contacted him about an investigation against him. Jobbik spokesman Ádám Mirkóczki said his party was not aware of an OLAF investigation and insisted that he was not aware of any infringement by Béla Kovács or any other MEPs of his party.
via hungarymatters.hu and origo.hu photo: photo: László Balogh – Reuters / nol.hu