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Supreme court decision renders lakefront land swap null

Issues

The Kúria, Hungary's supreme court, declared legally null and void a contract in which farm land was exchanged for state-owned lakefront property in a decision announced on Tuesday.

The court upheld an earlier decision by the Budapest Municipal Court of Appeals and said the transaction was against the national law on farmland. The exchange involved farmland owned by the Hungarian-Israeli investor Joav Blum for a plot on the shores of Lake Velence held by the Hungary's national asset manager in the autumn of 2008. The lakefront property was to have become the site of a €1.5 billion resort and casino. The lower courts said in their earlier decisions that the lakefront property was worth far more than the farmland for which it was exchanged.

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