One charged in corruption case that caused tensions with U.S.


Following up on a case that caused diplomatic tensions with the United States last year, Budapestʼs prosecutorʼs office brought charges against someone suspected of soliciting a bribe from U.S. cooking oil manufacturer Bunge, Tibor Ibolya, the chief prosecutor, said at a press conference on Friday, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

The suspect, referred to by his initials V.T., is said to have told Bunge that he had ties to Péter Heim, the head of Fidesz-friendly economic research institute Századvég. On the basis of his connections, V.T. allegedly promised that he could get the VAT on cooking oil lowered from 27% to 5% in exchange for a HUF 2 bln payoff, Ibolya said at the press conference. The chief prosecutor added that no ties between the suspect and the Századvég chief had been found.

The chief prosecutor said that, after hearing about the offer, the U.S. company broke all ties with the suspect, who has since been banned entry to the United States.

Last fall, the U.S. government used its anti-kleptocracy law to ban entry of six Hungarian officials on suspicion of corrupt practices, but it did not publish the names of those who were banned. The decision was apparently made by U.S. officials on the basis of a complaint by Bunge.

Former tax and customs office chief Ildikó Vida eventually admitted she was among those who had been banned, but she denied to any wrongdoing. The Hungarian government rejected claims of corruption at the tax office at the time, and said that the Americans were bringing spurious charges.


Czech economic confidence improves in May Analysis

Czech economic confidence improves in May

Ministers in new Orbán gov't sworn in Parliament

Ministers in new Orbán gov't sworn in

Spring’s allergy season - the heat is on Interview

Spring’s allergy season - the heat is on

Airport bus fare could rise to HUF 1,500 City

Airport bus fare could rise to HUF 1,500


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.