Jobbik spy case stuck in Brussels

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A novel situation could emerge in the European Parliament in the case of Béla Kovács, the European lawmaker who belongs to Hungary's radical nationalist Jobbik Party and is suspected of spying for Russia, Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet reported yesterday.

The work of the parliamentary committee on suspending the MEP’s immunity has been impeded because it is unclear what documents from the investigation the rapporteur can have access to without breaking state secrecy rules.

Officials in Brussels cannot get access to documents that would help them decide whether the Hungarian prosecutor’s request to lift the parliamentary immunity of Kovács would be lawful.

Géza Fazekas, the Hungarian public prosecutor’s spokesman, said that the prosecutor is in constant contact with EP officials in connection with the matter. Chief Public Prosecutor Péter Polt has asked EP president Martin Schulz to suspend Kovács’s immunity on suspicion that the Jobbik politician spied against EU institutions.

The Constitutional Protection Office raised charges against Kovács after suspicions were raised that the lawmaker had regularly met Russian diplomats covertly and paid monthly visits to Moscow. This is the first time that a request has been made to lift the immunity of an MEP in connection with state secrets, the paper said.

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