During his interrogation by authorities on Tuesday, Tamás Gyárfás, the former head of the Hungarian Swimming Association, denied having hired Tamás Portik, the one-time head of an oil company involved in illicit deals in the nineties, to assassinate Hungarian media mogul János Fenyő in 1998, Gyárfás’s attorney has said.
On Tuesday, the National Investigation Bureau (NNI) took Gyárfás in for questioning in connection with the Fenyő murder case on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
According to the website of János Bánáti, Gyárfás’s attorney, the NNI suspects Gyárfás of having hired Portik — identified in the statement only as P. T. for legal reasons — to have Fenyő murdered. The bureau believes Portik had accepted the job and hired Slovak criminal Jozef Rohac (identified as J. R.) to carry out the murder.
The statement said Gyárfás has filed a complaint over the NNI naming him as a suspect in the case and “denied the charges in the strongest terms”. During the interrogation, which Bánáti said had lasted hours,
Gyárfás described in detail his dispute with Fenyő and how they had “made up”, as well as his relationship with Portik.
Gyárfás was reportedly “stunned” to have been named as a suspect in the case, since in a past criminal procedure over his having been blackmailed, he had made himself available to investigators and told authorities everything he knew about the Fenyő case. The statement said Gyárfás had provided investigators with “comprehensive and logical answers” in his testimony concerning the blackmailing case.
Bánáti said the defence would release details in connection with the criminal procedure once Gyárfás’s 72-hour detention is up or when the court rules on his possible pre-trial detention.
News portal pestisracok.hu reported on Tuesday that the NNI had “rock-solid evidence” against Gyárfás in connection with the Fenyő case, including a 14-year-old audio recording of a conversation he had with Portik.
The NNI took over the case on October 31 last year.
The national police headquarters (ORFK) said on its website last week that the Fenyő investigation would resume with a view to finding the instigator of the murder.
Last May, the Budapest Court of Appeals upheld a life sentence for Slovak criminal Jozef Rohac for his role in the Budapest Aranykéz street bombing that claimed four lives in 1998 and the Fenyő murder on Feb. 11 of the same year. In that same ruling, the court also upheld a 13-year prison sentence for Portik for his role in the crimes. Portik was found guilty of having instigated the Aranykéz street bombing while Rohac was sentenced for having carried it out. Rohac was also found guilty of having perpetrated the murder of Fenyő.