Budapest (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orban will sack tax authority chief Ildiko Vida unless she files a defamation lawsuit against Andre Goodfriend, charge d’affaires of the US embassy in Budapest, Orban told parliament on Monday.
Orban said he expected Vida to sue Goodfriend after the US listed her on an entry ban because it suspects she was personally involved in corruption.
In reply to a question by a Socialist deputy, Orban insisted the issue could be clearly settled in the law courts “without all the nonsense lacking evidence”.
“Unless she initiates a lawsuit immediately I will withdraw her,” he added.
Orban also called on the US diplomat “not to hide behind his diplomatic immunity”.
Concerning Goodfriend, Orban said that the diplomat should “stand up, be a man, and take responsibility for what he has claimed”.
Antal Rogan, group leader of the ruling Fidesz party, told MTI that he saw a legal possibility for Goodfriend to support his claims in court. He insisted that the government of the US could lift the immunity of its diplomat, and then Goodfriend could appear before a Hungarian court. The diplomat could even do so without having to face any legal consequences, Rogan said.
“We only want to see a procedure in Hungary in which it is decided whether the US embassy or Vida is right,” Rogan argued. He added that in a similar situation the Hungarian government would certainly give its consent to a Hungarian diplomat’s proving their case in a foreign country.
In a post on Twitter, Goodfriend wrote: “US and Hungary have excellent legal cooperation, including a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.”