Security minister, ex-spy directors arrested in Hungary

Gyorgy Szilvasy

Gyorgy Szilvasy

One former government minister and two former directors of Hungary’s domestic intelligence service have been arrested on suspicion on espionage, according to reports. On June 28, Hungarian police arrested Lajos Galambos, who was Director of Hungary’s National Security Office (NBH) from 2004 to 2007. Three days later, on July 1, police forces arrested Sandor Laborc, who succeeded Galambos as NBH director, and Gyorgy Szilvasy (pictured), who was minister in charge of overseeing the civilian security services from 2007 to 2009. All three served in key government positions during the socialist government of former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany. Despite repeated media request, government prosecutors have refused to disclose the precise nature of the charges against the three officials, except to say that they are suspected of having committed “crimes against the state”. One Hungarian daily, Tabloid Blikk, suggested that the arrests are linked to the Egymasert Public Foundation, headed by wanted fugitive Robert Jakubinyi.  Egymasert was found last year to have been used to facilitate money laundering and the illegal sale of shares. But other reports interpret the high-level arrests as a form of political payback for the so-called ‘UD Zrt affair’, also known as ‘the Hungarian Watergate’, which rocked Hungarian public opinion in 2008. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0036

  • Hungary’s security head resigns in wake of spying scandal. Sandor Laborc has resigned as head of Hungary’s National Security Office (NBH) after NBH agents were caught spying on politicians.
  • Austria to try Kazakh spy for kidnap attempt. Austrian officials say they will put a suspected Kazakh spy, identified only “Ildar A.”, on trial for attempting to kidnap from Austria former Kazakh National Security Committee (KNB) chief Alnur Musaev last September. See previous intelNews reporting on the ongoing Austrian-Kazakh intelligence imbroglio.
  • Obama’s unwilling cyber czars. Barack Obama is expected to soon appoint a national cybersecurity adviser. But Andy Greenberg argues that the appointee’s name may not be as important as the names of those who have “politely declined” the role.

Bookmark and Share

%d bloggers like this: