• Origins of the Magic box

    The Magic box opened like Pandora’s Box: Zsolt Balogh former general manager of BKV started to talk about Nokia boxes filled with 15 Million HUF in February, 2010, which he had to give over Miklós Hagyó Deputy Mayor. He had repeated this story during the investigative phase of the BKV-case but later he withdrew it in the judicial phase. 168 Óra weekly indicated Balogh with “Nokia man” attributive in September, 2009 with which it predicted the script of the Bkv-case. 

  • How did the money jump into the Magic box?

    Nokia box is magical because every time the money jumped into it in different ways. Firstly Balogh accused Synergon that the company paid royalty to Hagyó and he gave over the half of the 30 Million HUF bribe – of course in a Nokia box. However he stated to the press that the money was put together by managers of different companies which were close to BKV. It was not just the source of the money but the circumstances were also magically different. He took over once in a garage, in a car in another time and once he saw the content of the Box or who knows.  

  • What exploded the BKV-scandal?

    Let’s jump back until July 23, 2009 when BKV-scandal exploded in connection with the dismissal pay of Szalainé Szilágyi Eleonóra, former HR director. Hagyó, who was on vacation at that time, immediately ordered an investigation in this case. According to Magyar Nemzet daily BKV concluded unnecessary contracts and paid excessive dismissal pays. Now we are aware of the fact the BKK still concludes these kinds of contracts so far. Of course the press barely wright about this and nobody has been arrested accordingly. 

  • Who wins with the scandal?

    The case came in handy to FIDESZ before the elections. They turned almost immediately to the Attorney General, 6 days after the scandal burst out. Everyone who may be familiar with the Hungarian political situation knew that BKV-case was very important with regard to the 2010 national elections.Hagyó resigned from BKV supervisory board in August, 2009. MSZP announced that they trust in the innocence of the Deputy Mayor but on the contrary they asked Hagyó in February, 2010 - in the middle of the election campaign - to resign from every title he had.

  • When did BRFK start the investigation?

    Although there were no condemning investigations at BKV before 2008, BRFK entered the campaign in 2010. One day after Hagyó resigned from BKV’s supervisory board Gábor Tóth police chief informed the transporting company about continuing criminal procedure. Police initiated the arrest of Szalainé 90 days prior to the elections and kept on accusing BKV persons. The investigation landed in the hands of Hagyó’s former political rival: György Pető used his position to recruit managers of some companies owned by the capital before the municipality elections, who were supposed to be informants to the police.

  • How did the press pick up the story of the „Nokia-box”?

    One month before the parliamentary elections Zsolt Balogh begun to give interviews about the Noki-box, but only to the right –party related media. First, in the Magyar Nemzet, later on the Hír-TV the smear campaign continued. The Nokia-box, however, became more and more magic, since the former Chief Executive Officer’s statements on the exact source of the money and the circumstances of the delivery itself were changing day by day. These contradictions were never spotted by the investigators, although they were the only one aware of all the versions of the same story. For the audience only the official statements were available. By this time Balogh’s incriminatory statements were considered to be facts.

  • How did the Nokia-box effect the parliamentary elections?

    The smear campaign against Hagyó had significant role in the two-thirds victory. The new Fidesz-led government appointed Tünde Handó as the president of the National Office for the Judiciary, Péter Polt as the Chief Prosecutor of Hungary, Mária Szívós as signatory judge, furthermore they established their authority over the media with the help of the media law. As the Nokia-box had an influence on the election, the election also had an effect on the Nokia-box case, as the above mentioned appointees played a significant role in the progress of the BKV- and Hagyó-case.

  • How did the parliamentary elections affect Hagyó’s nokia-box case?

    A couple of minutes after the National Assembly had been established, Hagyó was arrested at his home. He was handcuffed despite the fact that he had declared his intention to cooperate to the police in advance in writing, furthermore there was no intent to escape shown. Hagyó was remanded in custody which was prolonged three times without – all together for 9 months - considerable justification by Mária Szívós and the prosecution led by Imre Keresztes. Hagyó turned to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for remedy. Meanwhile he was also accused of being in an unlawful relationship with his partner. They decided in his favor in both the cases.

  • Was Hagyó accused of the nokia-boxes as well?

    Yes, he was, but the accusation was unfounded and made long after Balogh’s testimony and Hagyó’s arrest. During his custody, he was not inquired about the nokia-boxes at all. Hagyó and Balogh were confronted on September 14, 2015. Hagyó stated that he has never received money from Balogh, however Balogh kept to his story and refused to answer to any questions. At that time, Balogh was already defended by István Szabó Dr., who was referred to as “the lawyer of the Fidesz” in the media.


  • Did the Nokia-box case influence the municipality elections?

    Of course, it did – Hagyó was suspected of the Nokia-boxes five week before the municipality elections. This was also the time when the records on the confrontation leaked out, which brought back the same public mood as before parliamentary elections. In fall – just like previously in spring before the parliamentary elections - the Nokia-box became a campaign topic again. Beginning a new wave of their attacks they used the BKV-severance pays as weapons. Later more socialist politicians were charged. The then mainly liberal and socialist Budapest failed. Although it has been revealed that the Nokia-box charges are false, the truth cannot change the results of the elections.

  • Did also the indictment contain the Nokia-boxes?

    At the beginning of 2012 the prosecution was brought. The Nokia-box count was based on exclusively and solely Zsolt Balogh’s contradictory statements. The indictment of course contains the case of the Nokia-boxes, however interestingly the Nokia-boxes themselves are not mentioned. In the indictment issued carelessly and inaccurately has a reference only to the 15-15 million forints which was delivered to Hagyó on a yearly basis. Any other details on the location, the time or other circumstances are not mentioned in it. The term „Nokia-box” does not occur in the text at all.

  • Why was the BKV lawsuit reassigned – twice – to Kecskemét?

    The new Fundamental Law of Hungary granted Tünde Handó, president of the National Office for the Judiciary, the right to (re)assign the BKV-case to the Court of Kecskemét famous for giving unreasonably severe court decisions. According to the plans the judgement would be passed in the peak period of the campaign, 2014. The plan itself failed, however the BKV-case resulted in a “legal horror story”. Although the Constitutional Court stated that the reassignment of the case violated the law, the courts involved began passing the BKV-case to each other until it finally got back to Kecskemét again.

  • Did Miklós Hagyó admit the charges against him?

    The moment when Miklós Hagyó gave his testimony before the Court of Kecskemét was waited for impatiently by the media and the public as well. In his testimony Hagyó rejected the charges brought against him including the Nokia-box related statements. Moreover he drew the attention of the court to more inaccuracies in the indictment. In the indictment more dates are inexact and it was compiled without questioning him or other executives involved in the case about the Nokia-boxes during their pre-trial detentions.

  • When did it turn out that the story of the Nokia-boxes is not more than a legend?

    On October 9, 2012 the story took an unexpected turn: during his court hearing Zsolt Balogh unsaid his statement on the Nokia-boxes. He was called by Judge Ibolya Hadnagy to declare if he keeps his investigatory testimony. Balogh said that he keeps the one given before the court. About his significantly different investigatory testimony read out by the judge he said he had stated incriminatory things in it in order to meet the needs expressed by the prosecution and avoid prison: “I am not a hero. I did not want anything else just to go home.” Later, in March 2015 he completely withdrew the story of the Nokia-box and he apologized to Hagyó spending nine months in custody for his earlier false statements on him. Finally, the prosecution did drop the related investigation, admitting that the statements on the Nokia-box cannot be supported with evidence.

  • Who are the main protagonists taking advantage of the case?

    ​György Pető leading the investigation got the lead of both FKF and FBI. Ottó Halász conducting Hagyó’s interrogation became the deputy director of the security board of FKF. Gábor Tóth currently is the supervisor of a public security working group at the Municipality of Budapest, where he can work together with more of his ex colleagues and other police higher-ups. Iván Szabó was awarded with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Officer’s Cross, while Imre Keresztes was awarded with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Commander’s Cross. Prosecutor, György Győri became the chief-deputy prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office in district XI and XII. Mária Szívós thrives as constitutional court judge.

  • Is the public media biased towards the BKV-case?

    ​The government of Fidesz passed the new press and media act. In the Media Council established under the new act there is no a single member who could be supposed to be in favour of the independent press. Although, it is the main responsibility of the MTI to provide the press with the latest and objective news, in the communication having been provided by them in relation to the BKV-case important bits of information have been lost. In most of their reports the focus is more on the details of the older testimonies which have already been unsaid in most of the cases. At many points they have penned briefly and ambiguously, furthermore their titles have not reflected accurately the events took place during the trials.

  • Are there any cases related to Miklós Hagyó which were closed?

    In spite of the obvious partiality four cases related to the Magic-box were closed. It was proved before the court that in the pre-trial detention Hagyó did not commit falsification of private documents related to his registered partner’s visits. Related to the lockup of his wealth the court decision was made in his favour. The investigation initiated based on the report made by the State Audit Office was dropped, furthermore the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg decided in Hagyó’s favor against the Hungarian state in connection with the conditions of his custody.

  • Why is the work of prosecution questionable?

    ​The BKV-case is a good example of how successfully can the prosecution, the police and the court work together when the political interest requires so. One of the most important roles was performed by prosecutor Szabadváriné Dr., the chief of the Department of Special Investigation. It can be hardly considered to be correct that the first highly illegal arrests and interrogations in relation with the investigation took place with her approval – just as the fact that later she was awarded for this by Tarlós. Not to mention that the charges related to the Nokia-boxes were dealt with unexceptional attention and priority – often ignoring the related processes. The investigation in the case of the well indicated bribery was launched after Balogh unsaid his testimony. Until that time it was considered as a charge supported by one single person’s statements.

  • What decision was given at first instance?

    After the prosecution admitted that they had committed mistakes and the charges related to the Nokia-box had been dropped, Hagyó was imposed two-year suspended sentence. However, he was not found guilty in connection with the Nokia-box and the metro line 4, furthermore the charge of being involved in criminal organization was also dropped. Since the ex Deputy Lord Mayor is still pleading his innocence the responsible defence lawyers have appealed the decision and the case goes to the court of second instance.


  • ​What are the expected consequences of the court decision?

    ​I connection with the court decision considered to be “too lenient” the Fidesz wanted to call the judicature to account, however the high ranking representatives of the judicial power – involving Tünde Handó – have protested against it. The events took a dramatic turn when more judges making statements anonymously admitted that no independent judiciary exists in Hungary and the judges are exposed to the influence of their superiors. Definitely, this explains a lot in connection with the highly questionable decisions made in the BKV-case in the investigatory phase.