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Péter Magyar releases recordings alleging corruption

March 28th, 2024

A pro-government pundit condemns Magyar for secretly recording and now publicly releasing a conversation with his wife, who was at that time (January 2023) Minister of Justice. A left-wing columnist takes the audio as proof that the government is not worthy of public trust.

Péter Magyar, the divorced husband of former Justice Minister Judit Varga, released an audio recording on Tuesday in which Ms Varga says leading government officials asked prosecutors to remove references to them from the files of a corruption scandal in which Ms Varga’s former deputy faces up to 8 years in prison (see BudaPost, December 10, 2021). Mr Magyar then addressed a crowd of several thousand people who demanded the resignation of the Prosecutor General. The prosecutor’s office assured the public that it is physically impossible to remove documents from its files. Ms Varga called her former husband a narcissistic psychopath who terrorised her while their lived under the same roof.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gergely Huth condemns Péter Magyar for recording and releasing a private conversation with his wife. He adds that the ongoing trial where the former number 2 in the Justice Ministry stands accused of corruption is proof of the independence of Hungary’s prosecutors and, by implication, of the rule of law. Huth finds it telling that Magyar has chosen former Socialist Justice Minister Péter Bárándy to accompany him as his lawyer to the prosecutor’s office where he accused high-ranking government officials, including Cabinet Minister Antal Rogán of corruption.

In Népszava, Miklós Hargitai writes that accusations of domestic harassment brought against Mr Magyar, whether true or not, do not invalidate his claims of government corruption. He believes that the recording released by Péter Magyar and submitted to the prosecutor’s office proves the great extent to which prosecutors are influenced by the government. Most Hungarians already think that the government fails to strictly abide by the law, Hargitai writes, and the audio released by Mr Magyar proves to him that it is ‘no longer worthy of public trust’.


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