Hungary probes foundation coordinating Norway grants

In Hungary

The public prosecutor's office has launched an investigation against Okotars Foundation, an organisation coordinating the distribution of funds from the EEA/Norway Grants in Hungary, under suspicion of embezzlement, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said on Thursday, according to MTI. 

According to press reports, a member of the ruling Fidesz party reported the alleged embezzlement to the police. Deputy state secretary Nándor Csepreghy told daily Magyar Hirlap that the government had not initiated a criminal procedure in the case.

He said such a procedure would not be started before an ongoing investigation by the Government Control Office (KEHI) is complete. Csepreghy insisted earlier that the government was obliged to oversee the scheme's disbursements and he accused Okotars of being a satellite organisation of the green opposition LMP party.

In June, several Hungarian civil groups complained over a request by KEHI for data and declined to comply with its procedure saying that grants received from other countries were outside the scope of authority of government agencies. Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein decided on May 9 to suspend further disbursement of funds to Hungary over concerns about the Hungarian government's introducing changes to the distribution of such funds.

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