European Interest

Hungary accuses Jobbik MEP of spying for Russia

Flickr/Leigh Phillips/CC BY-NC 2.0
A public meeting of the far-right party Jobbik. In uniform are members of Jobbik's militia Magyar Garda.

Hungarian MEP Bela Kovacs, who belongs to the far-right opposition Jobbik party, has been charged with spying on European Union institutions for Russia.

According to the Reuters news agency, the charges against Kovacs follow a probe by Hungarian prosecutors into the financial reporting practices of Jobbik, the strongest opposition party.

The investigation was launched in April 2014. This is when Hungarian authorities first reported the suspected espionage and filed for his immunity to be lifted.

“This was followed by declaring reasonable suspicion, the essence of which was that the member of parliament had been involved in espionage on behalf of a foreign state for its secret service,” the prosecutors said in a statement.

The foreign state in question was Russia, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said.

The charges against Kovacs include using forged private documents.

“I am very happy that we finally made it to this point and I can clear my name in court and put an end to this saga,” Kovacs told Reuters by phone.

No date has been announced for a trial.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Kovacs and his associates are also suspected of defrauding the EU parliament of €21,076 and fictitious employment of interns.


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