Hungary’s public prosecutor Péter Polt initiated the suspension of Simonka’s immunity after the central investigating prosecutor’s office named him as a suspect in a scheme to unlawfully obtain state and European Union funds intended for agricultural cooperatives.
The prosecutor’s office says Simonka and his accomplices illegally obtained non-refundable grants from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund that had been made available for the investments and equipment purchases of the cooperatives.
Simonka and his accomplices are suspected of having overvalued the equipment purchases and bought low-value properties for the cooperatives, then carried out minor developments and submitted fictitious valuations in their bids for the funds.
According to investigators, Simonka also solicited 45 percent kickbacks from contractors that carried out developments.
The losses stemming from the scheme are estimated at 1.4 billion forints (EUR 4.3m).