Budapest, March 14 (MTI) – Former Socialist Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy has denied responsibility in the corruption scandal around the construction of Budapest’s fourth metro line.
Medgyessy told a hearing of parliament’s economic committee dealing with the report by Europe’s anti-fraud office OLAF on the metro construction project that the decisions in connection with the project had been made and the tenders for it had been called between 2005 and 2006, after he had resigned as prime minister in September 2004.
The former premier also said he had not held any position in a consultancy firm linked to the project at that point.
Medgyessy said the Hungarian government had to protect its interests in the case in Brussels so that it could minimise the amount of money it has to pay back to the European Commission. The best-case scenario would be if Hungary did not have to make any repayment, he said.
Medgyessy added that he did not believe that former Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky was implicated in the corruption case.
He said he was unable to determine whether there was indeed corruption involved in the metro construction project, adding that this would have to be uncovered by the prosecution dealing with the case.
Medgyessy said it was an exaggeration to say that 167 billion forints (EUR 533.8m) had “vanished”, adding that OLAF had not stated this either. The anti-fraud office has merely said that the contracts in connection with which it had uncovered irregularities were worth a total of 167 billion forints, the former prime minister added.