“Polypgate” in Hungary: new developments

This morning I found an article in Népszabadság announcing that the complete contents of the CD received by members of the parliamentary committee on national security had been uploaded overnight on YouTube. Yes, all thirty-two of the telephone conversations out of which Fidesz made public only seven. The mystery man who put them up was januspannonius68. Janus Pannonius (1434-1472) was the only really notable poet of the Hungarian Renaissance and the Bishop of Pécs.  Perhaps our man's first name is János just as Pannonius's Hungarian name was. Pannonius in this case simply means Hungarian. What 68 is, I'm less certain but perhaps it has something to do with the "student revolution" of 1968 whose fortieth anniversary was celebrated all over Europe, including Hungary.

The Népszabadság article had links to seven or eight of the telephone conversations and I listened to them via these links. Then I put the YouTube site among my "favorites" with the intention of going back to the original site to listen to them all later. That was a mistake. A few hours later when I tried to reach januspannonius68's audios, they were gone. The message was that because of "violation of terms" the tapes were taken off of YouTube. That was certainly fast.

Luckily an internet newspaper, Hírszerző, gave brief descriptions of those telephone conversations Népszabadság found important enough to mention. They were internal conversations held between employees of UD Zrt. and did not involve Fidesz. It seems that the seven tapes Fidesz published were indeed the only ones directly linking Fidesz to UD Zrt. But the new tapes make it crystal clear that the UD guys were involved in criminal activities. (I don't know Hungarian underworld vocabulary, so I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to fleshing out these conversations.)

Two conversations center around the illegal purchase of a machine gun. I know nothing about guns either, but my understanding is that this particular machine gun was very powerful. From the conversation it is not clear who the potential buyer is, but the price was set at "sixty rugós." Help me out again–is this like calling a five-year term in a U.S. prison a nickel?  I'm familiar with the ordinary meaning of the word, but according to a Hungarian dictionary of slang expressions "rugó" means a 1,000 Ft. banknote. Can one really buy a machine gun with forty rounds of ammunition from an underworld source in Hungary for 60,000 Ft.? Sounds like a steal to me.

A very long telephone conversation was about breaking in or spying on a lawyer's office not far from Parliament on Bálint Ballasi Street. The caller reports that he surveyed the scene and found two unoccupied apartments in the same building that could be rented to keep an eye on the situation. He also says that some of the telephone and internet lines run outside and are therefore fairly easily accessible. In addition some wireless eavesdropping might be contemplated, and he casually mentions that the lock on the door is of the ordinary kind. The law firm apparently specializes in mergers and acquisitions.

Another conversation begins with a discussion about tracing Gordon Bajnai's movements, friends, e-mails, telephone conversations. Another charming conversation is about putting pressure on someone who owes money to the parents of a certain István Macskásy. The nice guys of UD Zrt. had a little chit-chat with the debtor and they "gave him until February 15, but after that we will break his hand… [and] this actually means that the boys will show up on the tenth and if necessary they will take him." I wonder where to. UD Zrt. was also interested in money laundering. Someone would like to know where some money landed in Cyprus and was told that finding out about the details "is not half an hour, it is a fairly long affair, it costs money." The UD employee adds that "we have our friends over the big water who can help, but it is true that in such a case the cash register often clicks."

As for spyware there is a conversation between a woman and a man. The woman is asking for a program rewrite of spyware that was placed on the computer network of MOL, the Hungarian oil refining company. The man is obviously not too happy with the prospect of rewriting the program but the woman indicates that the program as it is is useless. From the conversation it is evident that this was not the first occasion that UD's computer wizards were working on the program because the man reassures her that "this is no longer in such a state that someone easily can discover it."

So this is the company two Fidesz politicians, two former ministers in charge of national security met with frequently. These are the people who received requests from these well-known Fidesz politicians to check out their political opponents.

As for who might be responsible for the januspannonius68's audios on YouTube I have no idea. At first, when I heard that the thirty-two conversations had made their way to the internet I was almost certain that the government was involved. After all, Szilvásy's hands are tied, and certain important MSZP leaders were making noises about finding a way to make these conversations public. But who has the right to take them off? Perhaps UD's friends "over the big water" helped? My total unfamiliarity with this world prevents me from even guessing.

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Next time make sure you download the video/audio from YouTube. Search on ‘Downloading YOuTube Videos” there are lots of free tools that make this easy, even for the non-technical.
Others are bound to have done this and I would expect these to reappear on the internet pretty soon, but maybe as a torrent download. Try searching on a torrent search engine like http://www.torrentz.com/ for januspannonius68 or related search terms.
Anyway, you can be sure that since they were released into the wild they are still out there and spreading.


They might also end up on wikileaks.org. (a “safehouse” for disseminating sensitive information that may not have been acquired legitimately) I just checked and there’s nothing – yet.