Surfacing after weeks out of the public eye, Ildikó Vida, head of the national tax authority (NAV), admitted in an interview published today that she is on the list of six Hungarians who were recently told they could not enter the U.S. because they are suspected of corruption. She denied any wrongdoing.
In an interview published by mno.hu, Vida said she had no idea why she was charged with misbehavior by U.S. authorities. She said that other NAV officials were on the list, but declined to name them. Vida told the interviewer she would form a committee within NAV to investigate the charges "with a microscope".
Vida told mno.hu she would resign if asked to do so, but added that she would fight to the end to preserve her good name.
Vida disappeared shortly after an October 16 press report revealed that Hungarian officials were banned from the United States. She said in the interview she had to leave the public eye because she was shocked by the accusations.
Six Hungarians are affected by the entry ban to the United States on suspicion of corruption, and all six people are government employees or affiliated with the government, André Goodfriend, the charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest has said.
The Embassy has declined to name the officials, and the case has increased tensions between the United States and Hungary, which have been growing as the Americans accuse Hungary of not doing their part to support sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict.