For days, Hungarian media has been full of the OLAF report: the system unveiled by the EU’s anti-fraud body in the so-called Elios case can be an organised fraud mechanism. Istvan Tiborcz, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s son-in-law is also involved.
Budget fraud resulting in considerable financial loss, if committed in criminal association with accomplices or on a commercial scale, can be sanctioned by imprisonment from 5 to 10 years. Even this is a possibility, according to the OLAF report, which investigated the business background of Elios Innovativ Zrt in the EU funded public tenders of public lightning.
The case is particularly sensitive, because the Istvan Tiborcz, the prime minister’s son-in-law was also involved in the company. This was the case at the beginning of the OLAF investigation, and he only left the company a few months later, in April 2015.
OLAF recommends to withdraw EUR 43.7 million of EU funds. The body prepared a report about the abuses and sent it to the Hungarian government, recommending them to start an investigation, which the Prosecutor’s Office ordered.
According to Austrian daily Der Standard, Fidesz’s victory in the elections in undoubtable, but there is much at stake, as Orban’s “right-wing populist” government wants to have a two-thirds majority, needed for amending the constitution. The newspaper wrote that the Elios case can give a chance to the opposition and shake up the voters, because the prime minister’s family is directly involved in this corruption scandal.
Der Standard extensively reported that according to the leaked OLAF report the Elios Innovativ Zrt. could have been involved in organised crime, in connection with the EU tenders. They reminded that the police had previously investigated the case, but hadn’t uncover criminal acts. Der Standard assumes that it won’t be different this time either, as Chief Prosecutor Peter Polt is loyal to the prime minister.