Opposition politician sends bailiffs to Ministry of Foreign Affairs
January 05. 2023. – 09:25 AM
In January last year, Márton Tompos, spokesman of the Hungarian opposition party, Momentum (now a member of Parliament), sued the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for failing to comply with a public interest data request.
The Momentum politician turned to the ministry in 2021 to request the documents on the purchase and installation of ventilators purchased by the state at the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic. According to Tompos' previous post, he received a reply from the MFAT saying that these were materials used in the decision making process and that the ministry was not a custodian of the data.
The court ruled in favor of Tompos in both the first instance and on appeal, meaning that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should have provided the requested documents. However, it has failed to do so in the space of a year, so Momentum's deputy group leader has now sent bailiffs to the ministry.
Meanwhile, after its owners took out billions of forints in dividends last year, the company that had been one of the biggest profiteers from state purchases of ventilators was quietly liquidated. Fourcardinal Ltd, which is linked to Viktor Orbán's Chief Foreign Policy Adviser, Zsuzsanna Rahói, and which used to manage the Egyptian trading house received 17 billion forints from the government for buying ventilators during the pandemic.
Telex's partner, the investigative journalism center Direkt36 had previously published a detailed fact-finding article on the Hungarian state's purchase of Chinese ventilators.
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