Official: Goodfriend keeps immunity, Vida case closed


The United States will not withdraw the diplomatic immunity of U.S. Chargé D'affaires André Goodfriend, Levente Magyar, state secretary of the Foreign Ministry, told journalists today. As a result, tax office chief Ildikó Vida's lawsuilt against Goodfriend will not take place, Magyar said.

Magyar said the Hungarian government had received a reply from the United States to its request for suspension of Goodfriend's immunity today. Magyar added that the Hungarian government now regards the case closed, in a legal sense. 

The apparent resolution of the highly politicized case, which was threatening to worsen diplomatic relations between the United States and Hungary, came days after the arrival of new American Ambassador Colleen Bell.

The public prosecutor in December had asked Hungary's Foreign Ministry to take the necessary steps toward lifting the diplomatic immunity of Goodfriend while he is being investigated in connection with a complaint by tax office chief Vida.

According to MTI, prosecution investigators began in December to examine the basis for a complaint made by the tax chief against Goodfriend, and the process reached a point where the diplomat needed to be investigated, but he was defended by his diplomatic immunity.

Tensions had 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 was preparing to sue Goodfriend on charges he libelled her when speaking about corruption in Hungary, but it now seems that suit will not take place.


MNB Sees Broadening Disinflationary Impact Till Year-end MNB

MNB Sees Broadening Disinflationary Impact Till Year-end

Pensioners to Get Inflation Top-up Government

Pensioners to Get Inflation Top-up

Revolutionary Rail Freight Transport Tech Presented in Budap... Innovation

Revolutionary Rail Freight Transport Tech Presented in Budap...

Budapest Muni Council Clears Rác Baths Renovation Tourism

Budapest Muni Council Clears Rác Baths Renovation


Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.