The Hungarian president no longer trusts Orbán’s secret service

The Orbán regime’s infamous Counter Terrorism Centre (Terrorelhárítási Központ, TEK) has reportedly fallen out of favour with President János Áder. The president, who is a Fidesz politician previously charged with developing the country’s new, controversial electoral system, recently decided to engage the Operational Police (Készenléti Rendőrség) for his personal security needs, even though this is a role that would normally be assumed by TEK officers.

According to a report in hvg.hu, Mr. Áder has been concerned for some time that TEK was gathering and disclosing information pertaining to the president’s meetings and engagements. During a recent chat with Mr. Orbán, the president was taken aback when he realized that the prime minister was aware of the most intimate details pertaining to Mr. Áder’s meetings, negotiations and official activities.

TEK has effectively been spying on President János Áder.

TEK has effectively been spying on President János Áder.

“They rather have Interior Minister Sándor Pintér know about Mr. Áder’s meetings than Prime Minister Viktor Orbán,” writes hvg.hu, based on information gathered by a source close to the president. The Operational Police falls under the direct purview of the Ministry of Interior, while TEK is a relatively new state agency established by the Orbán cabinet in September 2010. On paper, however, TEK also reports to the Ministry of Interior, but its unwavering loyalty to the prime minister’s inner circle is well-known. János Hajdú, TEK’s director, has a close, personal relationship with Mr. Orbán and is seen regularly in the prime minister’s offices.

With Mr. Áder’s decision, TEK is now only responsible for Mr. Orbán’s personal protection, and–of course–for “protecting the Hungarian government, politicians, ambassadors and citizens nationwide and worldwide.” This is the aspect of TEK’s activity that causes concern in a growing number of diaspora circles.

It is an open secret that TEK operates outside of Hungary, especially in cities and regions with relatively significant Hungarian diaspora communities and where there is a Hungarian mission (an embassy or a consulate general) present. A number of these Hungarian missions employ diplomats who are, in fact, affiliated directly with the Ministry of Interior and are effectively “on loan” to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Naturally, this “special” affiliation is not made public.

6 Comments

  1. Dr. Habil. Andras Fodor says:

    No, it is not fair, Christopher.

    Sorry Christopher for a professional note, you may dis-regard that.

    I think the title and the content of any publication should be in harmony, covering each other.

    You are an excellent and intelligent journalist of excellent style but in the present article of yours there is no direct correlation between the two.

    In the title you promise something what President Áder had told or stated, but there is not a sign of that in the article. Not a single citation of Áder’s words. The whole article consist of a bulk of unbiased rumors, not even mentiong the source, and also of some well-known fact, for instance who is the head of the TEK.

    But what is about Mr. Áder’s statement about “his not trusting in” what? Did I miss something?

    Christopher: please let me remind you, that there had been several criticisms about your journalism among your not-leftist readers like me, concerning and questioning your objectivity, un-explainble sharp and hostile hungarofoby – mainly exercised by the previous communist “super-káder”Mr. György Lázár (see his last disguistingly racist article about the Transylvanian Hungarians who look for autonomy); your unambiguous political commitment to the pre,- and post communists, etc.

    But so far all of your publications were fair and correct and matter-of-fact. (This is why I am still your reader).

    Except for this article.

    Please think it over and do not make the same bi-corned mistake next time. It deeply compromises your professional credibility. Instead of reporting facts you simply try psychologically negatively influence your reader by unproven rumors about the democratically elected and majority-supported government of Hungary, a committed ally of the United States of America.

    It is not fair, Christopher. This is a kind of “journalism” practice of “Russia Today”, the lie-factory No. 1. of our world nowadays.

    Best regards,

    András Fodor

    • Uncle Habil, what’s that buzz? Problems with your tinfoil hat? Again? O.K. never mind, good comment, even that was rich considering your performance on HFP lately 🙂 .

  2. Dr. Habil,
    For someone who expects such a high regard for his opinion, I would expect that you would have read the article linked to in this article. HVG reported the story originally where the president shows his lack of trust in TEK due to the fact they were relaying information to the prime minister regarding his meetings, you surely would see that would create a lack of trust within the Fidesz ranks, this is a natural observation, not a liberal left one. You absolutely did miss something Dr. Habil. By accusing Christopher of expressing a liberal left biased opinion meant to influence readers to a liberal left opinion is amateur. He also states that the head of TEK is director Janos Hajdu, another thing you missed. You have a very defensive and biased view of Hungarian politics, my take from your commentary you are a Fidesz supporter but please do not make the mistake of making accusations and distortions due to this. If you want to make a valid statement make it, otherwise, please do not push Fidesz propaganda here. Your methods are very familiar, but they really are not fooling anyone. People know right from wrong, it has nothing to do with left and right. With all the corruption and scandals unfolding almost daily in Hungary it would be more appropriate to state that maybe Christopher is a Fideszophobe, but to claim that he is a hostile toward Hungary or a Hungarophobe is a manipulation and clearly meant to create a similar defensiveness for Hungary by Hungarians who want to stand up for their country, it has nothing to do with the truth. With your comparison to the “lie factory”, “Russia Today”, you are projecting in my opinion. I feel you are doing exactly what you accuse the author of this article of.

  3. “It is an open secret that TEK operates outside of Hungary,……..”

    Looks like not only President János Áder but many more, including diplomats and ambassadors are trying to break free from the “protection” of the TEK .
    The Hungarian Embassy here is very close to my place and in most cases when I’m passing by, I’m lucky enough to see the ambassador standing on the balcony and texting and talking over his private smartphone for prolonged time avoiding not only using the phone of the embassy but he even seems to have some worry using his own room. He knows why.
    These people must have some more information and they seem to be careful preparing their tomorrows.

  4. Christopher Adam says:

    That’s very interesting, Richard. I would not be surprised in the least that ambassadors are wary to share information over lines and in rooms that are likely tapped. I do know from some reliable sources that there is an intense level of mistrust at the moment in many quarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs…and clearly there is growing paranoia on the part of Mr. Orbán’s inner circle.

  5. Fair enough, Chris. Let alone the high toll this paranoia takes on their annual budget as well as Hungary’s foreign relations. I’ve got some info on that, too. Seems like their “liberty war” and hate mongering begun to hit home and soon they’ll be out to get someone to throw them a lifeline. As I see the whole structure of their crime syndicate is slowly but unstoppably decomposing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *