Tuesday

26th Jan 2021

Orbán ally admits he was at Brussels lockdown 'sex party'

  • MEP Jozsef Szajer was a key contact between Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and the European People's Party, where he was chief whip (Photo: European Parliament)

A prominent politician with Hungary's ruling party, Fidesz, and a close ally of prime minister Viktor Orbán, on Tuesday (1 December) admitted that he participated at a lockdown party in central Brussels which broke Covid-19 measures.

Jozsef Szajer, who resigned as MEP on Sunday citing the "increasing mental strain" of the job, was caught on Friday night at a house party at which Belgian media reported police found 25 men, some of them naked, including an MEP and a number of diplomats.

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The event, described by Belgian media as an "orgy" and "sex party", was broken up by police. Szajer did not comment on the nature of the party in his statements, he only said it was a "private party".

A press release from the Brussels public prosecutor's office said a passer-by reported seeing a man fleeing down a drainpipe, and identified the individual to the police.

The man, identified as "S. J. (1961)" by police had bloody hands possibly due to the attempted escape, and illegal drugs were found in his backpack.

He did not have identity documents with him, so the police escorted him to his home, where he identified himself with a diplomatic passport.

In his own press statement, the 59-year-old Szajer said the ecstasy pill found by police was not his and he has no knowledge "who and how" placed it there.

"I did not use drugs. I offered the police to make an instant test, but they did not do it," he added.

The Brussels public prosecutor statement a police report was drawn up for "S.J." for violation of the drugs laws.

The prosecutor statement also said two other people, "D. O. (1977)" and "P. B. (1987)", have also invoked diplomatic immunity from the "about twenty persons" found at the party.

"The procedure is ongoing. Criminal proceedings could only be brought after the waiver of the diplomatic or parliamentary immunity of the above-mentioned persons by the competent authorities," the prosecutor office added.

Szajer said he regretted violating Covid-19 restrictions, calling it "irresponsible".

Szajer added that with his resignation on Sunday he drew the "political and personal conclusions", after a long period of reflection.

"The misstep is strictly personal, I am the only who owes responsibility for it. I ask everyone not to extend it to my homeland, or to my political community," he added.

The Fidesz party said in a statement that "Jozsef Szajer made the right decision when he resigned as a MEP. He made the only right decision."

"We acknowledge his decision, just as we acknowledge that he has apologised to his family, his political community and to the voters," the statement added.

Chief whip

Szajer is a key member of Orbán's inner circle, a founder of the Fidesz party, and a key architect of Orbán's illiberal system. He has been an MEP since 2004.

In 2011, Szajer boasted about helping to write Hungary's new constitution on his iPad, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

His own wife, Tunde Hando, has been leading the National Judiciary Office and clashed with judges over appointments, and now serves on the Constitutional Court - which Orbán critics say has been weakened.

Szajer has also been a key point of contact for Orbán within the European People's Party (EPP), where he enjoyed a senior role as chief whip.

The Hungarian government has meanwhile been cracking down on LGBTQI rights at home, and criticising introducing gender awareness into EU policies.

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