The prosecutor’s office seeks seven years of prison time in a maximum security prison for the former Jobbik MEP Béla Kovács, who is charged with espionage, financial fraud, and the use of false personal documents. According to the prosecution, he leaked important information to Russian agents while serving as an MEP in Brussels.
Kovács, often nicknamed in the press as “KGBéla,” referring to his alleged ties to Russian secret services, is charged with having contact with Russian agents under diplomatic cover and leaking information between 2012 and 2014, in connection with, for example, the EP elections, energy issues, the Paks upgrade, and Hungarian domestic politics.
His involvement with Jobbik started in 2005 after his return from Japan. In 2010, he became the then far-right party’s Member of the European Parliament. In 2015, he was stripped of his parliamentary immunity due to the allegations, while charges were made public in 2017 after which he eventually announced he would quit Jobbik.
In addition, Kovács is also accused of having signed “fictitious” internship contracts with four private individuals in 2012-2013. The European Parliament transferred 28,000 Euros to Kovács in connection with the contracts but according to the prosecutors, the contracts were false, without substantive work behind them. Three interns are also charged in this latter case besides Kovács, and the prosecution asked for suspended jail time and fines for all parties.
Béla Kovács still consistently denies all charges.
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featured image via Zoltán Balogh/MTI