Csaba Czeglédy, a left-wing politician and fixer who is under investigation for the suspected misappropriation of public funds, was released from pre-trial detention on Thursday after he was officially approved as an MP candidate and became eligible for immunity, a spokesman for the Csongrád County Chief Prosecutor’s Office has said.
Czeglédy‘s name was entered into the registry of candidates in Vas County’s first electoral district last Friday, but his candidacy only became legally binding on Thursday after the National Election Committee (NVB) rejected an appeal against it and the deadline to challenge the NVB’s decision expired.
As an MP candidate, Czeglédy is eligible for immunity just like lawmakers.
As a result, the Csongrád County Chief Prosecutor’s Office suspended the investigation into Czeglédy and released him from pre-trial detention, Ferenc Szanka told MTI.
Under Hungarian law, criminal proceedings against Czeglédy must be suspended for as long as his candidacy stands and cannot be resumed while he has immunity.
But the chief public prosecutor may ask the NVB to suspend a candidate’s immunity.
The Csongrád County prosecutor’s office has proposed to the chief public prosecutor that it should initiate lifting Czeglédy’s immunity, the prosecution foreman said.
Czeglédy is accused of defrauding the budget of 3 billion forints (EUR 9.5m) which has led to unpaid wages to an estimated 1,000 students.
He was local government representative of Szombathely, in western Hungary, representing Éljen Szombathely-Socialists-DK-Együtt. He also worked as a lawyer for the Democratic Coalition party and the Socialists.
Ruling Fidesz accuses Ferenc Gyurcsány, the leader of the Democratic Coalition, of financing Czeglédy by providing a loan through his holding company Altus.
Fidesz reacted by saying that Czeglédy’s release violated the principle of the rule of law. Fidesz MP Gyula Budai accused Czeglédy of abusing the right to immunity and said he should be put back in pre-trial detention, arguing that he was a flight risk.