Magyar Drops Audio Suggesting Gov't Meddling in Corruption Case

Government

Péter Magyar, pictured here during his political demonstration on March 15, is the ex-husband of former Justice Minister Judit Varga. He burst onto the political scene earlier this year after he gave several interviews critical of the government in the wake of the clemency scandal that forced both Varga and President Katalin Novák to resign their political positions.

Photo by Zoltán Balogh/MTI

In an audio recording released by Péter Magyar today, then-Justice Minister Judit Varga is heard discussing how Minister of the Prime Minister's Cabinet Office Antal Rogán and his associates suggested to the prosecutors which parts should be omitted from the investigative files in the Völner-Schadl corruption case.

The sound file was recorded in January 2023, when Varga was still in office as Minister of Justice and before she divorced Magyar. The two-minute recording itself, made at the couple's home, was uploaded to Youtube and Facebook before Magyar entered the prosecution office on Tuesday to give a witness statement in the Völner-Schadl case.

Magyar says that the recording, which contains a conversation between himself and Varga, supports his claims about the government's involvement in the Völner–Schadl case, including allegations that Rogán and/or his people manipulated prosecutorial documents.

Varga is heard referring to Rogán in the recording, saying that the minister's people suggested to the prosecutors what things should be omitted from the Völner-Schadl case files, adding that not all of these suggestions were followed.

Magyar also asked Varga why Rogán and "Gergő" (referring to Minister of the Prime Minister's Office Gergely Gulyás) did not save György Schadl if he was "their man". She answered, "They had no more options. That’s the big problem."

The conversation then moved to Magyar asking, "Is the prosecution independent?" Varga responds, "Yes, because Polt isn’t... This clearly shows that this could happen because Polt is not in control of the situation at the prosecution office." 

In this conversation, Polt refers to Péter Polt, Prosecutor General of Hungary in office from 2000 to 2006 and since 2010.

Later, Varga made another statement previously alluded to in Magyar's claims. Magyar says that the government warned State Secretary Pál Völner about the ongoing proceedings and wiretapping in the Schadl case. On the recording, Varga noted that more and more evidence piled up in the case, and "Then they told Völner to stop. He did not."

The recording is available on Youtube.

Varga Reacts

Shortly after the release of the recording, Judit Varga posted on Facebook, saying "Shocking. Peter Magyar really did it. He has been blackmailing me for over a year." In the post, she also accused her ex-husband of both physical and verbal abuse.

Regarding the circumstances of the recording, she wrote, "He read out the rumors in the press and, as he had been terrorizing me for days, I said what he wanted to hear so that I could get away as soon as possible. In a situation like this, any person in a state of intimidation is likely to say things they don't mean."

Péter Magyar reacted to his ex-wife's post on Facebook not long after, saying that her post was made to divert attention from the contents of the audio recording, claiming that the post was "a collection of lies pre-written by Antal Rogán".

"What is written therein is, of course, untrue and constitutes libel in public," he wrote.

What is the Völner-Schadl Case?
The two main figures in this scandal which originally erupted in 2021 are György Schadl, the former President of the Hungarian Court Bailiffs’ Office, and Pál Völner, then State Secretary of the Justice Ministry. According to Hungarian news site Telex, they were accused, along with 20 others, of participating in a corruption scheme involving the exchange of bribes for favorable appointments of bailiffs and other corrupt activities​. The scandal came to light after authorities started investigating a corrupt National Tax and Customs Administration employee, leading them to Schadl. Subsequent wiretaps and investigations revealed Schadl's involvement in various corrupt activities, including the exchange of bribes with Völner. Völner was accused of accepting millions of Hungarian forints from Schadl in exchange for appointing specific bailiffs and influencing tender decisions outside his official purview​.
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