Fidesz and the criminal underworld

Yesterday we learned from Medián’s fascinating poll on corruption that a fair number of Hungarians think of their government as a criminal organization and the country they live in as a mafia state. They are not imagining things. Not only is the Orbán government corrupt. We also have convincing evidence that certain members of Fidesz and the government had dealings with figures in the criminal underworld.

Earlier I wrote about Antal Rogán, who during his tenure as mayor of District V of Budapest may have engaged in an illegal transaction with Tamás Portik, a convicted murderer. Rogán’s name also cropped up in connection with the investigation of László Vizoviczki, another shady character who might be responsible for several deaths from drug overdoses at his nightclubs.

That Rogán had dealings with Vizoviczki is not surprising. After all, Vizoviczki owned or rented several nightclubs in District V. Rogán most likely also knew Portik since Portik’s wife/girlfriend had financial dealings with the District through the purchase of a piece of real estate.

But evidence has surfaced indicating that Antal Rogán was not the only Fidesz politician with ties to the Budapest underworld. In a letter written to the prosecutor’s office in April of 2013, in which he outlined a possible plea agreement, Vizoviczki indicated that he had extensive dealings with other important Fidesz politicians.

Vizoviczki’s implicit threat–make a deal or I’ll spill the beans–was not idle. Jobbik’s N1TV, a well-informed internet site which earlier discovered Vizoviczki’s letter to the prosecutors, yesterday made another discovery. According to the story, on February 12, 2013, the police searched Vizoviczki’s four-story mansion in Buda. Among the items found was a 10-page letter addressed to “Gábor.” Gábor turned out to be Gábor Kubatov, currently one of the three deputy chairmen of Fidesz. In it, Vizoviczki asked Kubatov to use his good offices with the prosecutors and the police to get him released from jail and placed under house arrest for the duration of his trial. As Vizoviczki reminded Kubatov, he deserves assistance in exchange “for his support in the campaign (Reform Plan).” The content of this letter is known only from the very short description written by the policeman who took an inventory of the confiscated items because the prosecutors found the letter so insignificant that they didn’t include it in the material that was sent over to the court. On May 30, 2013, Vizoviczki was released from jail.

On the basis of this very brief summary of the letter I think it’s fair to assume that Vizoviczki was a generous supporter of the Fidesz campaign in 2010, which may be one reason that his case, which is still dragging on, hasn’t been vigorously investigated. Neither the police nor the prosecution seems to be eager to go after Vizoviczki. The police are most likely trying to bury the case because high-ranking police officers were allegedly in his pay. And, as we now suspect on the basis of Vizoviczki’s letter to Kubatov, Fidesz is probably also beholden to him.

The emergence of this short summary of the letter must have come as a shock to Kubatov because in the last 24 hours he hasn’t been able to come up with a coherent story about the background of the letter. His answer at a press conference yesterday about his acquaintance with Vizoviczki was fairly light-hearted. “Of course, I know him. I’m a politician and it is my business to meet people,” he answered to a question from Index’s journalist. A few hours later he realized that his flippant answer might not have been appropriate. In the second iteration, he tried to minimize his contacts with Vizoviczki. Kubatov claimed to the pro-government Magyar Idők that they had met only twice, once at the 110th anniversary of the kindergarten they both attended and once when Vizoviczki approached him about his plans to invest in sports, specifically in Fradi, Kubatov’s football club. Kubatov was not interested. Otherwise, according to Kubatov, on that occasion they talked about the terrible tragedy at the West-Balkan disco where several people died because of overcrowding and the subsequent stampede. Kubatov and Vizoviczki discussed safety measures that should be introduced in discos to prevent such tragedies in the future.

How well did these two men know each other? I suspect much better than Kubatov now lets on. On the photograph taken at the anniversary celebration of their kindergarten in April 2012 the two men are sitting next to one another. Admittedly, this doesn’t prove anything since the crowd seems to have divided itself largely along gender lines and more women than men attended the gathering. So even if they were perfect strangers they may well have ended up sitting beside one another. But my hunch is that they were no strangers.

kubatov-Viz

The whole story is suspicious, starting with the fact that the prosecutors didn’t include Vizoviczki’s letter to Kubatov in the material they passed on to the court. This cannot be a coincidence, especially in view of the close relationship between the prosecutor’s office and Fidesz. The prosecutors, realizing the damaging material in that letter, hoped that the document would never surface, as indeed it still hasn’t.

In any case, I’m not the only person who finds the prosecutors’ handling of this important letter more than strange. Today MSZP called on Péter Polt to explain why the prosecutor’s office ignored the letter written by Vizoviczki to Kubatov. It’s easy to predict what the answer will be. The same as when the prosecutors were supposed to investigate Tamás Portik’s testimony about the bribe he allegedly handed to Antal Rogán. The prosecutors announced a couple of days ago that they see no reason to investigate Portik’s allegation. Charges were dropped.

July 29, 2016
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dos929
Guest
I am afraid that all these revelations are only the tip of the iceberg… Unfortunately, in regimes like Orban’s, where there is no decency, where there is no humanity and no common sense, one can only find corruption upon corruption. This country is doomed. Given that by some miracle a professional team could get into power, in which every one of them would be a decent and knowledgeable person with the single aim to right the wrongs that were done to this country since the reign of the FIDESZ, it still would take 10-15 years to get back where Hungary was before them. And why? Because not only the existing infrastructure of the country was neglected, robbed and dismantled, but the best people of the country left to better pastures. Most of those that remained are simply too tired, too old, or too young to understand that there is another decent world outside the Orban-regime’s nightmarish world. And no future government will be able to recover the assets from this criminal gang either. As sad as it is, the fate of the country doesn’t rest in the hands and minds of the remaining quarter or so millions of decent Hungarians,… Read more »
e-2016
Guest

There are many similarities between Hungary and Ukraine
Both are the victims of dictators, and of Moscow.
The future of Hungary can be guessed by studying the events in Ukraine.
This institute presented very honest reports on Ukraine:
http://neweasterneurope.eu/about-nee/editorial-board
http://neweasterneurope.eu/interviews/1461-is-russia-a-state-sponsor-of-terrorism

Jean P.
Guest

“And no future government will be able to recover the assets from this criminal gang either.”

Worse may happen to them than losing the loot.

Member

Words don’t come easy seeing this dark scene set up carefully by the fidesz-mafia. Deliberately filling up gate-keeper positions with their soldiers they seem to be untouchables. Opposition must find the common ground in their understanding of the serious situation and work out a minimal program to throw them off balance and then remove them from power. No one can succeed alone in this struggle. All parties should do their part like Péter Juhász does. Solitary heros are prone to attack and vulnerable, they need supporting hinterland.

Guest

In a way this obvious complicity is unbeleivable, but we all kow it happens everywhere!

A bit OT:

There was a case (actually still is being analysed in parliament) of a Neo-Nazi killer group, the NSU, in Germany.
And it took many years to find out that on all levels there were police involved which just let things disappear or ignored hints re those murders – at first they tried to give the impression that this was a totally different story.

So this makes one wonder:

Is there still a general affinity of the (or at least some) crime fighting organisations with the criminals, specially when the crimes are connected to politics?

Many people have become very suspicious of the “political” or secret police – almost like in Nazi or Communist times.

rita
Guest

A dictator wants to control everything and that has to include the criminal underworld too. No different in Russia or Turkey. Is this a surprise?

Guest

OT but cannot help sharing this very important interview on migration since I feel that many of you still assess the current situation based on your own personal experience when you left Hungary after the revolution. http://www.atv.hu/kulfold/20160729-europa-ma-konnyen-beveheto-celpont

Guest

Just a comment.

Did I get it right that all migrants cannot integrate? That they all are anti-Western? Now there’s some pugilistic behavior out there that would make one think that if they weren’t at a time they would be in another. …. with all its ramifications on ‘unionization’ and we’re not talking in cukraszdas or at Amazon.hu.

Istvan
Guest
Antal Rogán is the boss of Mafia bosses in Budapest. In my opinion one of the driving forces of the underworld in Budapest is the club scene and it has direct links to prostitution legal and illegal, but also the drug trade. I have commented on this over the years on this blog and even linked to sites promoting Budapest’s sex trade for foreign tourists. Here is a newer site http://www.huguide.hu/page6.html it promotes a sex tourism guide using the name Sándor Csicsmán. What was most astounding to me several years ago when visiting Budapest is how normalized and ignored the unregistered sex trade is, in fact there are families with daughters who are University students who are whoring part time and the families ignore it or pretend it is not happening. These are not just poor Roma families or working class Hungarian families with drunken father figures either. Most of these girls are paying a cut to the clubs which in turn pay the police and no doubt indirectly Rogan gets his cut too. The Mafia and this Budapest underground scene exist because there is a pervasiveness to this driven in good part by poverty, it’s not at the level… Read more »
Guest
Re: ‘The amazing thing is that just like corruption and crime here in Chicago one can easily avoid it and I guess pretend it doesn’t exist. Looks the case in Magyarorszag too. Things keep going on as if everything is normal. ‘To be furious Is to be frighted out of fear .. Antony & Cleopatra (Antony was vowing to fight ‘death’ itself) Chicago and Magyarorszag look as if they aren’t right there already. Time will perhaps tell. The fiefdom of Orban et al without a doubt can be considered what in sociology they call a ‘deviant’ society. If deviance is a ‘tipping point’ the country has flapped over significantly. The arts of lying, cheating and stealing have become in a sense societal norms not only among individuals themselves in their actions but in the institutions at large. As noted ‘visszaelesek’ referred to ‘abuses’ I take it in its literal essence indicating a grave ‘falling backwards’ in the modern progression of Magyar society and its communities. This might be a stretch but I would suggest that the country as shown by its life, death and birth statistics ( on perilous declines) that the society itself perhaps is on a trend of… Read more »
Guest

Yes, and in the villages and cities life goes on as if there was nothing happening …
Most people are just trying to survive!

Just yesterday we saw again one of those black big Audis (S8 or R8) costing well over a hundred thousnd € i e more money that a decent Hungarian worker makes in 20 years – who can afford this type of car?

Observer
Guest

“…The prosecutors announced a couple of days ago that they see no reason to investigate Portik’s allegation. Charges were dropped.”

I don’t thing they came to charging anyone in this relation.
I don’t remember Chief Prosecutor P. Polt ever charging any prominent Fidesz member with anything.
Why would he? L. Kosa announced this week that their government had eliminated institutional corruption. It didn’t come to his mind that this was impossible , since they denied there wasn’t any in the first place.
Kafka step aside.

Member
Hungary’s Heinous House of Cards Here’s another possibility, and maybe it’s not just wishful thinking: Orban’s mafia state is a hierarchy of criminality held in a provisonal equilibrium because everyone has something on everyone who has something on them: You can’t blow the whistle, because it would bring you down too. Well, fine. Rather like a nuclear stand-off — except the nuclear weapons of extortion are always proliferating, and the game is in many ways like Russian Roulette, except it’s Gaussian Roulette: There are more and more parties involved. All it takes is for one of them to over-reach enough to make another one of them decide he has nothing left to lose — and the whole heinous house of cards collapses. (This is especially true with of the professional (i.e. non-elected) mobster links.) I’d say the Orban/Simicska falling-out came the closest to this tipping point, but apparently Simicska still had too much to lose (and to hold onto) to pull out all the stops. But that was at the top of the house of cards. Cards lower down can bring it all down just as well — and there are more of them, and they are nearer the ground,… Read more »
webber
Guest
tappanch
Guest

Remark on the poll averages.

I think the swing towards Trump was caused by the appearance of the LA Times polls after July 18. Since then, they have been contributing to the poll average every second day, always showing a Trump lead. If LA Times does not change its same method of sampling, this lead will consistently be towards Trump.

If we take out the LA Times polls, the polls show a Hillary lead.
Bad polls for a candidate can energize her/his supporters, by the way.

https://ig.ft.com/us-elections/

Istvan
Guest

There is massive polling data by date on this site http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/president/ All that really counts is the final vote totals and electoral college totals.

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