Budapest, April 2 (MTI) – Both the former and current leaders of the opposition Socialist Party knew about the illicit funds of the party’s disgraced former deputy chairman, Gabor Simon, Magyar Nemzet daily said today.
Simon is now being kept in preliminary detention. The paper cited a report by a prison informer who was placed in the same cell as Simon as saying that the former Socialist politician confessed that Attila Mesterhazy and Ferenc Gyurcsany had known about his undeclared assets.
The paper also cited documents seized by detectives showing that money in Simon’s foreign and Hungarian bank accounts had originated from a property transaction in Budapest’s 18th district, which Simon ran earlier in the first decade.
Several other transactions involving Simon are listed by the paper, including a land deal with French hypermarket chain Auchan.
Detectives discovered documents relating to later deals which had the signatures of either Simon or Mesterhazy, the paper said.
Without citing it sources, Magyar Nemzet said it had information that Tamas Welsz, an entrepreneur who recently died in a police car on his way to the prosecutor’s office, had been asked by Simon to help him legalise his assets.
Meanwhile, Simon’s lawyer has rejected a report that the former politician had had in his possession a passport from Bissau-Guinea. Speaking to Nepszava daily, Istvan Nagy also denied that Simon had had any dealings with MagNet Bank. He said Simon had not opened a bank account there using the alleged passport and had not deposited 75 million forints worth of euros as claimed in reports, which he described as “provocations”.
Ruling party Fidesz repeated its call for Mesterhazy to reveal what he knew about Simon’s hidden funds and when.
Gordon Bajnai, leader of the opposition E-PM alliance, said the paper’s allegations were not fact but, at the most, something that Simon may have said in his detention cell. He said the idea that it was possible to trust in an impartial procedure and in the discretion of the prosecutor and police had utterly collapsed.
Dora Duro, spokeswoman of the radical nationalist Jobbik, said that the Socialist Party was “up to the ears” in the Simon case and called it a lie that Socialist leaders had no idea how Simon had accumulated the funds on his undeclared account. The Socialist Party and its “associated” organisations are “not only incapable but also unworthy of leading the country,” Duro insisted.