Budapest (MTI) – The United States has not raised any criminal charges against the six Hungarian officials banned from entry to the country, US charge d’affaires Andre Goodfriend said after receiving the opposition LMP party’s two co-leaders in his office on Wednesday.
Andras Schiffer, the green party’s co-leader, told journalists Goodfriend had made it clear that although no criminal charges have been raised against the six people banned, it is possible for someone to violate the proclamation of the President of the United States on corruption without breaking Hungarian laws.
Schiffer said he had asked Goodfriend if there were any concrete criminal charges raised in the case and whether these were presented to the Hungarian side.
“Not everything we call corruption is a criminal act,” Schiffer said, adding that if LMP were in government, it would ban several lobby activities considered legal in Hungary today.
However, Schiffer said, information on concerns raised by the US side is available to Hungarian authorities. For this reason, Prime Minister Viktor Orban is still to be considered responsible for failing to look into which officials had been banned from the US and on what grounds.
The Hungarian government’s steps in this matter are more than unfortunate. It is “really pathetic” to threaten the mission chief of an allied country with a lawsuit, Schiffer added.
Co-leader Bernadett Szel said Goodfriend had also commented on the Paks upgrade plan at their meeting. He said the United States did not mind if a country did business with Russia, the problem was a lack of transparency regarding the government’s moves. Szel said LMP still believes Hungary does not need a nuclear upgrade.
Schiffer said he had told Goodfriend that LMP does not support the planned free trade agreement between Europe and the US, as it is “against the interests of Hungary and the whole planet”.