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Former MVM executive questioned by police on suspicion of malpractice

István Kocsis, former head of the Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM), was questioned by police on Tuesday on suspicion of misappropriation of company funds during his tenure at MVM between 2005 and 2008.

Kocsis, who is currently chief of Budapest transport company BKV, said after leaving the police station that he would submit a complaint against the accusations.

He said the national bureau of investigation's economic protection department had interviewed him because MVM's new management had submitted a report about suspected negligence causing large losses. He said he had told police that he had not committed any crime and that the investigation would prove this.

During the period under review, the MVM's auditor, board of directors, supervisory board, general assembly and owners had never raised any complaints about projects' efficiency or costs, Kocsis said.

He said the general assembly had first approved in 2005 and then annually renewed the "strategy aiming to increase the MVM group's market value to HUF 800-1,000 billion" between 2006 and 2008.

Kocsis added that the financial crisis in the second half of 2008 had been impossible to foresee at that time, and it was also impossible to tell that the owners would unexpectedly change their strategy for regional expansion and instead opt to slice up MVM and quickly sell it.

Kocsis said he had not expected, either, to be dismissed from his post in a move he described as "political revenge.

"If ongoing projects at the time had been completed, MVM would not have suffered such large losses later, he added. The new MVM management for instance rejected a €600 million development project in the Western Balkans and Romania, yet it is currently included in Hungary's national energy strategy, Kocsis said.

He added that he would fully cooperate with the investigators to establish who was really responsible for the losses.