Prosecution initiates suspension of Goodfriend's immunity

History

The public prosecutor asked Hungary's Foreign Ministry to take the necessary steps toward lifting the diplomatic immunity of André Goodfriend, U.S. charge d'affaires, while he is being investigated in connection with a complaint by tax office chief Ildikó Vida, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today.

According to MTI, prosecution investigators have begun to examine the basis for a complaint made by the tax chief against Goodfriend, and the process reached a point where the diplomat needs to be investigated, but he is defended by his diplomatic immunity.

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

Vida is suing Goodfriend on charges he libeled her when speaking about corruption in Hungary.

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