The Central Prosecutor’s Office announced on Friday that it has dropped a long-running investigation into allegations of abuse of office against former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány due to a lack of evidence.
The investigation centered on a land-swap deal involving a proposed casino and resort complex that was to have been built near the central Hungarian town of Sukoró. Prosecutors had said the allegedly illegal land deal had resulted in losses to the state in excess of HUF 1 billion.
Five other officials have been charged in the case widely known as the “Sukoró affair,” including the former head of the country’s national asset manager.
Abuse of public office is punishable by a maximum of three years in prison under Hungarian law.
The legal case against Gyurcsány was launched when a lawsuit was filed against the recently-departed PM by András Schiffer, who was then the head of a human rights group and is now the parliamentary leader of smaller opposition group LMP.
The former PM claimed his case was politically motivated, and that he would be “infinitely surprised” if the prosecutor’s office was able to produce any evidence supporting the allegations, a prediction that was borne out by events.
Vowing his innocence, Gyurcsány requested that his Parliamentary immunity be lifted, a request that was fulfilled last September.
That same month, current Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a speech that “the era of malfeasance, dishonesty, fraud and plunder in Hungary is over.”