Budapest, January 19 (MTI) – The central investigating chief prosecutor’s office (KNYF) is conducting a full-scale investigation into the case concerning French engineering company Alstom’s contracts for the Budapest metro, based on recommendations by Europe’s anti-fraud office OLAF, the chief prosecutor said on Thursday.
OLAF launched a probe into the case in February 2012, in which a criminal investigation had been started by Hungary’s bureau of investigation in January 2011 on charges of fraud, Imre Keresztes said in a statement.
OLAF submitted its report with recommendations to the Hungarian chief prosecutor in November last year which was then referred to the KNYF, he said.
Keresztes noted that the Hungarian authority had questioned several suspects in connection with the case in October 2016.
The deadline for the KNYF to conclude its investigation is April 3 this year, he said.
Nándor Csepreghy, parliamentary state secretary for the prime minister’s office, announced on Monday that around 167 billion forints worth of damages had been identified by OLAF in connection with Budapest’s fourth metro construction project, and the European Commission could levy a fine on Hungary of 76.6 billion forints (EUR 249m).
He said the metro project had been the most corrupt case in the history of Hungary’s 13-year European Union membership. Irregularities had occurred during the period of former Socialist-liberal governments of the country and the city of Budapest before 2010, he said earlier.
Photo: Daily News Hungary