Hungarian Opinion: President Sulyok Accused of Past ’Land Mafia’ Crimes

  • 27 May 2024 12:32 PM
  • Hungary Matters
Hungarian Opinion: President Sulyok Accused of Past ’Land Mafia’ Crimes
Left-wing commentators believe that the documents, several decades old, submitted by the DK EP election frontrunner may have moral implications but no legal consequences.

Klára Dobrev, the frontrunner of the Democratic Coalition for the European Parliamentary elections accused President Sulyok earlier this week of having helped foreign investors to illegally get possession of arable land when he worked as a lawyer in southern Hungary.

She submitted a contract to the prosecutor’s office in which two Germans figure as the real owners of pieces of land that they officially only rented from their Hungarian employee, as foreigners were barred from buying Hungarian land. The President’s office said Mr Sulyok will sue Ms Dobrev for slander.

Cabinet Minister Gergely Gulyás told the press on Thursday that the contracts shown by Ms Dobrev didn’t prove any illegal transactions and her move was part of the DK’s electoral campaign.

On, Dániel Kozák quotes the head of a lawyers’ association who believes that the matter may prove morally damaging for the President. Even if Mr Sulyok was guilty of the forgery of notarial documents, the lawyer remarked, the matter falls under the statute of limitations. However, he added, the President is expected to be morally flawless.

On Telex, Gergely Brückner explains that from the mid-nineties on, many lawyers made fortunes writing contracts for foreign farmers who rented Hungarian land on paper under an official contract but in fact became the owners, in what was known at the time as ‘pocket deals’.

The documents released by Ms Dobrev, he writes quoting an unnamed lawyer, look very much like such a transaction. Mr Sulyok’s signature, however, only appears in a document dated years after the original ‘pocket deal’ and he may argue that he was not aware of the illegal intentions of those involved.

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