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Billionaire Bige Accused of Bribery and Misappropriation

Hungary Today 2020.12.17.

Billionaire businessman László Bige was arrested on Tuesday. He is accused of bribery and misappropriation in a case that dates back to 2010.

According to the Szabolcs-Szatmár Bereg county chief prosecuter’s office, Bige is charged with misappropriation resulting in particularly large financial loss, use of forged private documents, and commercial bribery.

Although the charges resemble another one of his cases (in which in May the prosecutor’s office asked for his imprisonment) this case is different, according to his lawyer.

According to Telex, László Bige is now accused of having sold back in 2010, depreciated scrapped fertilizer that actually cost much more. Those he sold it to, then passed on the fertilizer at a higher price and the profits were subsequently shared. The news portal also writes that his partner (or accomplice) could have informed the police, which, according to Bige’s circles, is quite unrealistic.

Besides these aforementioned two cases, the Competition Authority (GVH) also investigated his companies although that one is not a criminal matter. In addition, in 2018, around 300 officers raided Bige’s sulfuric acid plant in Szolnok, investigating violations of the waste management law.

When explaining the authorities’ particular attention towards him, Bige regularly points to his long-running dispute with Hungary’s arguably most influential businessman, OTP Bank chairman and CEO Sándor Csányi, and to the fact that he isn’t part of Viktor Orbán’s System of National Cooperation.

The Nyíregyháza District Court is expected to decide on the application of further coercive measures on Thursday.

featured image via Boglárka Bodnár/MTI