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Goodfriend: I can expect to appear in court

History

Chargé d’affaires, André Goodfriend, said that if Hungarian Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) chief Ildikó Vida, who is one of the six Hungarians banned from entering the United States, files a lawsuit against him, he “can expect to appear before a court”, Hungarian online daily vs.hu reported.

The press approached Goodfriend after a conference aimed at fighting corruption. Hungary’s Interior Minister Sándor Pintér gave a speech at the conference saying “not only is corruption bad but so is accusing people of corruption”; the minister indirectly addressed Goodfriend, not mentioning his name.

As a diplomat, Goodfriend could probably claim immunity and avoid court.

Vida said she intends to "take the necessary measures" in connection with her being banned from the United States, following Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's comment that "unless she initiates a lawsuit immediately, I will withdraw her from her position", in reference to Vida.

Goodfriend revelead earlier that the only way to discuss Vida's entry ban is if she applies for a visa. "If an individual disputes the United States' decision to ban their entry, then they must resort to applying for a visa, and in this process, we can debate why we introduced the ban," he said. As a diplomat, Goodfriend cannot be sued according to the Treaty of Vienna.

Tensions have been growing between Hungary and the United States since mid October, when it was revealed that six Hungarians had been banned entry to the United States on suspicion of corruption. All six people are government employees or affiliated with the government, Goodfriend has said, but he refused to give details to Hungarian government entreaties, citing U.S. privacy laws. While he did not name the officials, Vida admitted that she is one of the people to whom Goodfriend is referring.

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