A Kecskemet court is scheduled to hold the first hearing on Wednesday in the case of former deputy mayor of Budapest Miklos Hagyo (Socialist), who faces corruption charges in connection with contracts at Budapest transport company BKV.
In addition to Hagyo, 14 people are suspected of aiding and abetting.
The prosecution charged Hagyo with systematically mismanaging public funds, including instigating fictitious and disadvantageous contracts suspected of causing damages to BKV of 1.5 billion forints (EUR 5.5m). Hagyo and officials under his command are suspected of signing contracts between 2007 and 2009 which were in their own interests or those of their business associates rather than the city.
The State Audit Office (ASZ) conducted an investigation of the suspicious contracts and reported the matter to the police in January.
Hagyo was detained and later placed in pre-trial detention in May 2010. He was under house arrest from February to June 2011.
Hagyo was later suspected of pressing leaders of Budapest’s public transport company BKV to sign unnecessary contracts.
According to the police, Hagyo was behind a contract under which BKV had paid a supplier 40 million forints for a malfunctioning customer information system.
In August 2010, Hagyo was also accused of blackmail. According to the authorities, he instructed Zsolt Balogh, BKV managing director at the time, to pay him 15 million forints annually.
Hagyo supervised BKV until resigning his post under pressure in March 2010. The then ruling Socialist party also suspended his membership.
The next hearing is scheduled for July 13, and 27 further hearings have been scheduled between September and December, after summer court recess.