Rise and Fall of Béla Kovács: From MEP to Alleged Russian Agent

Béla Kovács is a Hungarian former politician. He was a MEP from Hungary between 2010 and 2019. He is also a former member of Jobbik, which he left in 2016. Kovacs lived in Russia till 2003 and claims to have performed in the “leadership of various trading companies” during this time. He has also learned international relations at MGIMO University in Moscow. It came to light that he acted as a lobbyist for the Kremlin with the financial help of Russia.

He was indicted of being a Russian secret agent, seeking to forge a Eurosceptical alliance within the EU Parliament. According to the Hungarian secret service, Kovács maintained secret meetings with Russian diplomats. Kovács had the job of promoting Russian interests as an agent with influence.

The Hungarian government charged Kovács with employing in espionage against European Union institutions for the Russian government. In September 2014, the Hungarian public prosecutor requested the European Parliament to suspend Kovács’s MEP immunity so that he could be scrutinized. The EU Parliament lifted the immunity on 14 October 2015.

In September 2022 the Curia of Hungary convicted him in absentia to five years imprisonment for espionage. The Supreme Court, or the Curia, discovered Bela Kovacs guilty of budgetary fraud, falsification of records, and spying.

According to the charge, Kovacs handed documents on energy policy, European Parliamentary elections, and Hungarian politics to agents of the Russian secret service in Budapest between 2012 and 2014.

The decision sentenced him to five years in jail and barred him from exercising his public rights for 10 years. Kovacs was not present at the sentencing. According to press reports, currently he lives in Moscow, teaches at the Moscow Institute of International Relations, and has no intention of moving back to Hungary.

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