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, 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, 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.

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