(MTI) – The Municipal Chief Prosecutor’s Office has brought charges against 13 former district government officials and the former deputy notary in connection with the sale of a prestigious property on Andrassy Avenue in 2004, the Budapest chief prosecutor told MTI on Monday.
According to the charges, the officials abused their authorisation to manage municipal assets and sold the property in the upmarket area of central Budapest at a knock-down price, said Tibor Ibolya in a statement.
An application to purchase the property for 328 million forints (EUR 1.07m) was submitted by an limited company to the 6th district council in June, 2004.
An assessment of the property at Andrassy Avenue 3 commissioned by the district said the property was in good condition, and estimated its value at 1.2 billion forints.
The main suspect, Gyorgy Furst, a deputy mayor of the then ruling Socialists, proposed to the council selling the property for the price quoted by the company in question, including vacating its tenants and refurbishing it. This was accepted in the absence of a tender, the statement said. The suspects thereby caused the district council damages worth of 574 million forints, it said, adding they could face 5-10 years in prison.
The property was built in early eclectic style on commission by the Saxlehner family in 1884-1886. It later housed a museum dedicated to the history of the Hungarian Post Office on Andrassy Avenue, a World Heritage Site.