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European Parliament lifts immunity of MEP suspected of espionage in favor of Russia

October 15, 2015, 8:41 UTC+3

Hungarian Member of the European Parliament Bela Kovacs was an observer at the Crimean referendum on March 16, 2014

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Bela Kovacs

Bela Kovacs


BRUSSELS, October 14. /TASS/. Hungarian Member of the European Parliament Bela Kovacs was on Wednesday temporarily stripped of legal immunity on a request from Hungary’s prosecutor’s office investigating a case against him on charges of espionage in favor of Russia.

MEPs voted on Wednesday in favor of this decision at a one-day session in Brussels. 

The immunity suspension request was made to conduct required procedures within the framework of the investigation, the European Parliament said.

Kovacs is one of the most consistent supporters of Russia-EU dialogue in the European Parliament. He was an observer at the Crimean referendum on March 16, 2014.

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.


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