BY PETER SCHUTZ

László Nagy is joking

Opposition SMK party chairman Béla Bugár's statement that the party will not take any action against MP László Nagy, who is ensnared in a Sk18 million bribery scandal, tells us nothing we didn't already know, given that Nagy no longer holds a senior post in the SMK, and the party is not allowed to take his mandate.

Opposition SMK party chairman Béla Bugár's statement that the party will not take any action against MP László Nagy, who is ensnared in a Sk18 million bribery scandal, tells us nothing we didn't already know, given that Nagy no longer holds a senior post in the SMK, and the party is not allowed to take his mandate.

What the SMK should be getting Nagy to do is offer the public a clear and logical explanation of why his name came up so often in the phone transcripts of three men charged in the bribery affair of Košice deputy mayor Eugen Čuňo. The joking we heard yesterday from Nagy that "every normal person would act that way" is absurd coming from the head of the parliamentary Human Rights Committee.

It is curious that Nagy, who wasn't afraid to meet with Cuban dissidents, began to behave so secretively after learning his phone might be bugged. What was he afraid of? Did the SMK ask him about this?

Unless Nagy's role in this case is cleared up, a shadow will fall not only over his name but also that of the whole SMK. Bugár's argument that Nagy is only a witness in the case is a recap of his legal status, not an answer to the political and moral questions it raises.

Corruption is not restricted to the SMK but is a widespread public phenomenon. At the moment, however, it looks as if the SMK is taking Nagy under its protective wings.


Sme, February 21

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