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Hungary’s Tax Chief Files Suit Against US Embassy Leader

Tamás Székely 2014.12.12.

Tax office (NAV) chief Ildikó Vida has filed defamation lawsuit against US embassy chargé d’affaires André Goodfriend. The complaint was filed with the prosecutor’s investigations office on the ground of “public defamation causing serious damage,” a NAV lawyer said. On Monday PM Viktor Orbán told parliament that tax authority chief Ildikó Vida would be sacked unless she filed a defamation lawsuit against the chargé d’affaires of the US embassy in Budapest.

The legal claim is that André Goodfriend had defamed Ildikó Vida in her official capacity as NAV chief, Vida’s lawyer said, adding that the tax chief also filed a suit with the Municipal Court of Budapest for slander. The complaints were in connection with discrediting statements Goodfriend made in a recent interview to weekly Heti Válasz.

André Goodfriend said the US embassy had information about fraudulent activities within NAV, which, to his knowledge, have not been investigated. Asked if he had evidence, he said the US had already provided the Hungarian government with evidence. He told the paper that the US entry ban on Hungarian officials was a sign that the US believed “some government officials were involved in corruption,” without mentioning any names.

Vida still expects an explanation from the US embassy, noting that Goodfriend “made a remark clearly suggesting that I have committed a crime”. “This time you cannot get away with this without providing an explanation. Defaming and slandering someone must have its consequences”, Vida wrote last week in an open letter addressed to Mr. Goodfriend.

via hungarymatters.hu photo: Lajos Soós – MTI


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