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Fifteen Indicted in Central Budapest Property Swindle

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.09.13.

Budapest’s municipal prosecutor has indicted 15 people on the charge of “unfaithful handling” of public assets in connection with the privatisation of properties owned by the local government of 6th district (Terézváros) back in 2003-2004, the municipal chief prosecutor told MTI on Friday.

Tibor Ibolya said in a statement that the suspects, as local council members, had violated rules of competition and pricing by supporting plans to sell the properties. The deputies had “accepted an appraisal presented by the buyer without any criticism” and supported a decision to sell an apartment block in upmarket Jokai Street for the sum of 5 million forints (EUR 15,000) and a deal to buy out tenants, the statement said.

According to the statement, the local government later modified the original agreement under which two parts of the property were sold to the buyer, who agreed to renovate the building. The buyer, however, failed to meet that latter obligation and the district government terminated the contracts without suffering losses, the statement said.

By supporting the original plans, the suspects had risked causing the municipality losses of up to 58.5 million forints (EUR 176.000), the indictment said.