Authorities were looking for the documents of certain tenders that the president of the branch of bailiffs and the former state secretary had previously discussed on the phone.Continue reading
At the usual press conference of the Prime Minister’s office, Gergely Gulyás was questioned by several opposition media about the Schadl-Völner corruption case. Above all, they wanted to know how it could have come about that while the authorities had conducted searches in three ministries, the Prime Minister and Gulyás himself insisted that they had not suspected anything about it for weeks.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
As we previously reported, the Public Prosecutor’s Office launched a coordinated investigation on November 25th. Around the same time that morning, searches took place at the Prime Minister’s office, the Ministry of Human Resources, and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology. (György Schadl was already in custody at that time on suspicion of bribery, among other charges, while Pál Völner was not charged until later, on December 7th).
In response to a question from government-critical portal 444, Gulyás replied at the press conference that the other ministers in the government had not been informed about this earlier, as the search also included secret information. When asked by the journalist if the ministers concerned should have known that the searches were related to the Schadl case, and why they did not inform the ministers and state secretaries concerned as well as other members of the government, Gulyás responded: “This is the right procedure, even if they did not know at the time of the searches that the case was related not only to György Schadl, but also to the State Secretary Pál Völner.” When asked whether Gulyás would inform his ministerial colleagues in case a police search were to happen in his ministry, he replied, “not necessarily.”
The government has also not launched any investigation into the fact that according to the wiretap transcripts, Minister Rogán’s chief of cabinet obtained his law degree with Schadl’s help, while he himself did not take part in the exams. According to Gulyás, the University of Pécs is already investigating the case, the government is not competent in this matter, and he himself did not ask Rogán’s chief of staff about it, nor does he not know whether Minister Rogán did or not. The issue of Rogán’s chief of staff was not raised in the government meeting either, because “the government is a serious authoritative body.” Gulyás added, however, that during the period in question, exams were held online, so it is not remarkable if someone was not present during them. (According to the wiretaps, skipping the university exam was not connected to precautionary epidemic measures but rather to guarantee a successful exam for the politician without him even showing up).
“I don’t have any data that would even suggest that Antal Rogán might be involved in the case,” Gulyás further said in response to RTL Klub‘s question.
Finally, he was asked about whether in his opinion, former Secretary of State Pál Völner should resign his mandate in Parliament as well. The minister replied that “if the allegations are true, he should do so.”
Source: Press conference of Gergely Gulyás via the Facebook page of the Hungarian government.
Featured image: Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office at the press conference in the press room of the Prime Minister’s Office, February 3, 2022. Photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI