An unexpected accusation against Katalin Karikó, a potential winner of the Nobel Prize, came to light: the recruitment data of the Hungarian biologist who played a key role in the development of the Pfizer vaccine is circulating on the internet. Based on the photographs, Katalin Karikó was recruited as an agent in 1978 by the Socialist party.
The document comes from a book published in 2017 by László Bálint, a former operational officer in counter-espionage, in which the former detention officer lists the Csongrád County agents recruited during the Socialist period. The data was also published by Kurucinfó on Thursday night.
According to her State Security Card 6, Katalin Karikó, who left for America in 1985, was recruited in 1978. The Szolnok-born biologist was a recent graduate student and began her doctoral studies at the Szeged Biological Research Centre that year. Based on the information on her recruitment card, she then became a subordinate of Counter-Intelligence Class III / II with a classified trustee rating. Her pseudonym is also known: Katalin Karikó was listed in the state security register as “Zsolt Lengyel”.
However, based on this much information, it cannot be stated that Katalin Karikó would have been an employed agent of state security and an active member of the network. According to Hungarian law, this would require much more: reports by the agent, preferably in their own handwriting. However, no report from Katalin Karikó can be found in the files of ÁBTL. In the academic field and in universities, it was common for only a portion of state security records to be transferred, but it is not uncommon for a person to make a report, sabotage, or refuse to cooperate with state security after signing an enforced recruitment statement.
Telex contacted Kariko, who was inaugurated as an honorary citizen of Szeged on Friday, and she gave the following statement to the paper:
It is a fact that in 1978, when I started working as a research assistant, I was visited and forced to make a choice. Referring to my father’s involvement in the 1956 revolution, referring to his “sinful” past, I was threatened with making my professional work impossible.
I knew that my father had been sentenced to a suspended prison sentence in 1957, dismissed from his job, not given a job for 4 years. I knew how the system worked, I was afraid, so I signed the recruitment document.
In the years that followed, I did not give any written report, I did not harm anyone. In order to continue my scientific activity and research, I had to leave.
I have been carrying out my research for the last 36 years in order to heal people. No one could ever again break me or disorient me from my goals.
I consider the case closed with this statement.