Mr. Speaker, Members of the House!
I will start with one simple sentence: the charges against me are baseless. Less politely, the prosecutors are lying. There is not one word of truth in what they claim in the documents they sent to Parliament.
My government and I made every effort to attract an investor to Hungary who would have brought approximately one billion dollars into the country and would have created 2,500 new jobs. Today I still think that this investment would have served the interest of Hungary. The opposition party at the time—today the government party—and even some parties in today’s opposition sharply opposed such investments. I am convinced that they were working against the best interest of the Hungarian people.
The prosecutor’s office is charging me with breach of fiduciary responsibility. With breach of fiduciary responsibility because after all the leaders and institutions of the government involved with the case said that this investment was important and useful for Hungary. As one of the witnesses said, “the prime minister expressed his benevolent attitude toward the project to the investors.” I would do the same today. If it is a sin to tell the institutions under the direction of the government to do their job for the benefit of Hungary, I committed this sin not once but by the dozen.
Members of the House! This is seemingly a legal question. But only seemingly. What is happening here is clearly political retribution. (Calls and noise from the right.) There are those who don’t believe it. I can say to those people to read a remark Prime Minister Orbán made in 2007. He said that he learned that if there is an opportunity one must kill his political opponent. Without hesitation. And he added to make himself perfectly clear whom he had in mind: “I would like to see Gyurcsány dead rather than just wounded.”
I think that in this matter the prime minister and his party not only can not kill me but they can not even wound me. What he will achieve is only that I will be fortified in my conviction that a dastardly power is ruling Hungary and against this power every decent democrat proudly and resolutely–or as the prime minister put it–without hesitation must act. This is our duty.
Am I guilty? Not before the law. In the eyes of the prime minister and his party naturally I am, in political terms. They cannot forgive that in 2002 and in 2006 while their hearts swelled with self-confidence we won convincing victories over them. They cannot forgive that I belong—with many others–to those who in spite of threats, pressures and many indecent political practices remained resolute opponents of the autocratic, dictatorial regime of Orbán. This is the biggest problem of the prime minister.
No doubt Orbán and his loyal creature, Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt, want to see me in the prisoner’s dock. But they shouldn’t have the slightest doubt that instead of being the accused I will be the accuser of the regime which laid waste to the Republic in Hungary and which spreads uncertainty in the lives of millions. I have a quarrel with the regime in which millions are afraid to live and speak freely because a bullying power is having a feast in the villages, towns, in the whole country. We will be the accusers of this regime all through the proceedings of the trial and we will speak in the name of those who say, “Enough”!
Enough! You didn’t receive a momentary majority to ruin the country. You didn’t receive a momentary majority to turn against all that was built by the democratic will of the last twenty years. We will represent and strengthen the voice of those who are against your regime.
(The presiding speaker of the house: Pardon me, Mr. Member. I would like to ask those who are seated in the visitors’ boxes not to give voice to their opinions because they don’t have such a right. If they continue the practice I will be forced to empty the boxes. Go on, Mr. Member!)
I’m ready to fight this fight. If we can’t do that on the political stage we will fight in the court room. And as far as you, members of parliament, are concerned: In Hungary it was fifty years ago that there was a show trial the last time. (Noise, calls, the speaker rings his bell.)
I don’t think that at any time, even for one moment will I have to hide behind my right of parliamentary immunity. I don’t think so because I believe that by the end of the court proceedings I will be stronger because I will be able to see more clearly the nature of this immeasurably depraved power.
I’m not asking for protection. Why should I? Vote according to your conscience. I have no doubt that those who have a grain of decency—after all I still think that in the great majority of people there is more than that—will one day, after the years of intoxication are over, be ashamed of themselves. I will not feel sorry for them. I will not even despise them. It will be enough punishment for them to think back to the days when they took part in this shameful affair. How will they face themselves? How will they be able to tell to their children about it?
What I am fighting for is a better world than what you are building. For Hungary, for the Republic!
Thank you very much.