The National Bureau of Investigation has ordered an internal investigation into the fatal shooting of a policeman with a machine-gun while officers were preparing to search a house in the village of Bőny last week. The suspect, a 76-year-old man, is being treated in hospital after he was injured by shots himself.
János Hajdu, head of counter-terrorism force TEK, said TEK was called to the site in the morning of October 27 in answer to a call reporting that police had been wounded in gunfire. When the counter-terror agents arrived they started negotiations with the armed man, who had locked himself inside the house.
The suspect had by then been injured and soon was disarmed without any use of force, Hajdu said.
According to press reports, police had sought to search the man’s property because it was suspected he kept illegal firearms. Local media identified the suspect as István Györkös, one of the founders of a far-right organisation.
It is reported that he received a suspended prison sentence in the 1990s for spreading Nazi-type propaganda.
Municipal prosecutor Imre Keresztes said the prosecution would release details of his background later, and an official investigation had been launched. Police had to investigate the crime scene and question witnesses, he said.
Keresztes said the suspect had already fired some shots before police had managed to enter the house. Police chief Károly Papp said the victim, 46-year-old Péter Pálvölgyi, had been a police officer for 25 years. He has been declared a hero and promoted to lieutenant-colonel.
The National Bureau of Investigation inquiry will look into why TEK had not been requested initially, and who bears responsibility. Only the investigators were sent to search the house of a man with extreme right-wing ties when it was suspected that he could have firearms.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Fidesz parliamentary group spokesman Janos Halasz sent condolences to the family of the fallen officer. “It is unacceptable that anyone should attack those who uphold order and lawfulness,” Orbán said.
The co-ruling Christian Democrats said the killing of the police officer had proved the need to combat “dangerous extremism” with any methods possible. It was unacceptable that police could become victims of “brutal attacks”.
Zsolt Molnár, the Socialist head of Parliament’s National Security Committee, said the committee would look into the case at its next session and discuss ways to prevent members of “far-right militant groups” from obtaining guns.
The radical nationalist Jobbik party said it was “sad” that crimes such as the one committed in Bőny can still happen in Hungary. Jobbik rejected suggestions that it has any links to the suspect.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said that allowing “far-right armed groups backed by Russian secret services” to “roam free” in Hungary could pose a threat to the country’s NATO membership.
Citing unconfirmed press reports, DK spokesman Zsolt Gréczy said information indicated that the “far-right militant group” led by the suspect had “organised training exercises for Russian secret service agents”.
Gréczy said this was something that “could not have escaped the attention of Hungarian secret services”. If, however, the secret services of a foreign power can “conduct training exercises with Hungarian neo-Nazi groups” with impunity, then that “raises serious questions” about the Hungarian government’s “independence” from Russia.
If the reports were accurate, this could have serious ramifications for Hungary, given that it is a member of not only the European Union but also NATO, Gréczy added.
He said the government’s “Russia-friendly stance was always clear” but the latest reports went beyond the government’s “anti-EU” policies and the close ties to Russia in connection with energy policy.
During the migrant quota referendum campaign, “countless” websites specialising in “disinformation” had spread false rumours about refugees with backing from Russian secret services to aid the ruling Fidesz party, Gréczy asserted.