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APPEALS COURT ORDERS NEW PROCEDURE IN SZEVIÉP CASE

 

The appeals court of Pécs, in southern Hungary, threw out an earlier ruling and ordered the district court of Szeged to conduct a new procedure in the case of local construction company Szeviép, whose leaders have been charged in connection with gross violation of bankruptcy regulations. Three leaders of the company have been suspected of syphoning some 1.5 billion forints (EUR 4.3) off the company while it was being liquidated, thus preventing payments to Szeviép’s debtors. A local court in Szeged earlier sentenced the defendants to prison, while the district court acquitted them in a secondary ruling. The Pécs appeals court ordered a new procedure, saying the district court had passed the secondary decision without a trial.
Concerning the secondary ruling, a spokesman for governing Fidesz earlier raised suspicion that the court may have been tainted by corruption. János Halász suggested that the opposition mayor of Szeged may have “given benefits to members of the court” that acquitted the defendants. According to Halász, the Szeged city council, headed by Mayor László Botka, had “stuffed Szeviép with hefty contracts” worth a combined 34 billion forints (EUR 102m). “The billions disappeared” while Szeviép failed to pay off its subcontractors and “made 500 small companies bankrupt”, Halász insisted.