Vida indicates suit over U.S. visa affair is pending


Hungarian Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) chief Ildikó Vida means to "take the necessary measures" in connection with her being banned from the United States on suspicion of corruption, NAV told Hungarian news agency MTI today in response to a query.

NAV did not say whether she is planning to sue Goodfriend for libel or apply for a visa to initiate proceedings. Vida has said she could initiate a lawsuit to force Goodfriend to clear her name, and she was essentially ordered to do so yesterday by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Orbán yesterday said that "unless she initiates a lawsuit immediately, I will withdraw her from her position", referring to Vida.

Goodfriend earlier said 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 have 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 has refused Hungarian government entreaties to give details, citing U.S. privacy laws. While he did not name the officials, Vida has said she is one of the people to whom Goodfriend is referring.


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