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The Democratic Coalition (DK) opposition party has slammed the government for “weaponising” the state audit office (ÁSZ), which had earlier censured DK for alleged party financing infringements.

The party successfully sued the state auditor to release documentation that it said would exonerate it of alleged wrongdoing, and a Budapest court also instructed ÁSZ to pay the party’s legal costs, DK’s director, László Sebián-Petrovszki, told a press briefing streamed on Facebook on Sunday.

“We European Hungarians won’t tolerate abuses of power and we reject all threats,” he said, accusing the government of using the state body for its own ends, “evoking the darkest of dictatorships”.

The auditor had demanded the party produce documents which DK said had been destroyed in a fire at the party’s headquarters in 2018, and in a related move the auditor had threatened to block DK’s public funding. The party insisted that the audit office already possessed copies of the documentation and sued for their release.

ÁSZ reaction

In a statement reacting to DK’s briefing, the audit office said all relevant reports regarding the DK’s finances were in the public domain and available on the ÁSZ website.

Bálint Horváth, the audit office’s spokesman, in a statement accused DK’s management of having breached the law and various regulations over several years.

Based on “available facts”, he added, DK’s accounts and management in each of the years from 2013 to 2018 had failed to comply with the legal requirements. Also, when it came to campaign funding for the 2018 general election, DK breached various accounting and campaign laws, the spokesman said.

featured image: Sebián-Petrovszki in the Parliament; via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI