Daily News | Apr 18, 2019 | 0
Ombudsman Under Pressure
(MTI) – If reports concerning an exchange of letters between the NGO Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) and the ombudsman’s office concerning a scrapped needle-exchange programme in Budapest turn out to be true, then the ombudsman should resign immediately, the cabinet chief said on Friday.
A report in today’s Magyar Nemzet’s online edition suggested that someone from the office of László Székely, the ombudsman for fundamental rights, had shared information in a report prepared by the office concerning the programme for drug addicts with the rights NGO before it was published.
János Lázár said at a local forum in his home town of Hodmezovasarhely that if the report turns out to be true then the ombudsman’s office will have lost all credibility.
In such a case, it would not be good enough for the ombudsman to have launched an internal investigation into the matter, Lázár said.
The reports suggest that “it is not László Székely who is directing affairs at the office but other people and organisations entirely,” he added.
Máté Kocsis, mayor of the 8th district where the needle-exchange programme had operated, said that “the drug lobby infiltrated the office of the ombudsman”. Kocsis, who is also the head of the ruling Fidesz party’s communications office, said the ombudsman’s report had signs of having been “a document conceived, politically ordered and written by TASZ”.
Asked whether he thought Székely should resign or not, the Fidesz politician said that if the internal investigation showed that the ombudsman had erred, then “yes”.