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PM Orbán: Tax Chief Should Sue US Embassy Leader

Tamás Székely 2014.12.09.

Tax authority chief Ildikó Vida will be sacked unless she files a defamation lawsuit against André Goodfriend, chargé d’affaires of the US embassy in Budapest, Orbán told parliament. He said Vida to sue Goodfriend after the US listed her on an entry ban because it suspects she was personally involved in corruption. In reply to a question by a Socialist deputy, Orbán insisted the issue could be clearly settled in the law courts “without all the nonsense lacking evidence. … Unless she initiates a lawsuit immediately I will withdraw her.” Orbán also called on the US diplomat “not to hide behind his diplomatic immunity”. Concerning Goodfriend, Orbán said that the diplomat should “stand up, be a man, and take responsibility for what he has claimed.”

Antal Rogán, group leader of the ruling FIDESZ party, told that he saw a legal possibility for Goodfriend to support his claims in court. He insisted that the government of the US could lift the immunity of its diplomat, and then Goodfriend could appear before a Hungarian court. The diplomat could even do so without having to face any legal consequences, Rogán said. “We only want to see a procedure in Hungary in which it is decided whether the US embassy or Vida is right,” Rogán argued. He added that in a similar situation the Hungarian government would certainly give its consent to a Hungarian diplomat’s proving their case in a foreign country.

Antal Rogán has also challenged the US embassy’s chargé d’affaires to reveal whether he would protest against US plans, as reported in the press, to levy a tax on the internet. Rogán insisted that André Goodfriend had “actively participated” in demonstrations against such a tax planned and then abandoned by the Hungarian government, and if he now fails to “protest against Barack Obama”, he will look like a “hypocrite”. According to several reports in the American press, Obama’s plan for net neutrality may end up making it costlier for US customers to use the internet.

via hungarymatters.hu photo: Tamás Kovács – MTI


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