Well, it was inevitable that sooner or later somebody will find some bit of information that might implicate Pál Schmitt. Some people think that Schmitt's rather spectacular career, aside from his fencing accomplishments, might have been helped along by certain quarters. I have no idea who the person is who is snooping about in the archives dealing with the activities of the agents of the infamous Department III/III that operated a vast network of informers inside the country, but whoever it is found a document about the Department's effort to recruit informants.
People engaged in sports at such a high level that they managed to get onto national teams were especially targeted. So was, as it turned out today, the Hungarian Fencing Association. Someone managed to get hold of a detailed 1969 description of the efforts of the "network" to penetrate the association. Apparently it was not difficult. First of all, the president of the association, László Eperjesi, was a full-fledged paid officer of the internal spy network. The report mentioned with satisfaction that the department had extensive dealings with coaches as well as fencers: "they are honest and trusting. They often come to us on their own volition."
The report mentions two cover names, "Mészáros" and "Szamosi," but at this time the person who got hold of the document does not know who these people were in real life. On the other hand, it is well known that the Department often used blackmail. Either some politically "undesirable" past or some kind of criminal activity could serve as a first step toward forcing somebody to spy on his colleagues or report on his foreign contacts. Most likely that is why the authors of the document compiled a list of people whom they considered politically untrustworthy or, rather, had a past that was considered to be suspect by the regime. And there were many such persons, especially among the coaches and the leadership of the association. After all, fencing was taught as a compulsory subject in military schools. So, on the list we find many former professional soldiers or police officers of the Horthy regime. The Department also kept tabs on people who had some run-in with the law: drunken driving, forging a document, illegal currency exchange, and so on. These were the people, according to Hírszerző, who were most vulnerable. And it is here that we find the name of Pál Schmitt, currently president of the republic, who at the age of 22, in 1964, received a four-month suspended sentence for the negligent damage of public property.
Only three people are mentioned by name among the young fencers who actually worked for the network, but elsewhere the document claims that 18% of the team were successfully recruited as informers. The problem was that the national team had four separate sub-teams, according to the then official divisions within the sport: saber, foil (women), foil (men), and épée. According to the document the department was unsuccessful with the women, but in the other three branches they had an 18% success rate and they were looking for more.
Pál Schmitt's name, as far as Hírszerző knows, can be found with all sorts of wrong spellings (Schmith or Schmidt) in a folder kept by the Magyar Testnevelési- és Sport Hivatal (Office of Sports) that deals with the office's foreign relations. Schmitt's folder contains information dating back as far as 1962. The last entry was in February 1988. So, I assume that this is just the beginning. Most likely Hírszerző has the folder which details Schmitt's political career and will come forward with more information later.
The Köztársasági Elnöki Hivatal (Office of the President of the Republic) naturally didn't want to answer Hírszerző's questions.