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EU Parliament Lifts Immunity Of Suspected Spy For Russia

The European Parliament has lifted the immunity of a Hungarian deputy suspected of spying on European Union institutions for Russia.

A motion to suspend the immunity of Bela Kovacs of the far-right Jobbik party was approved on October 14 by a show of hands in the European Parliament.

Kovacs is one of the most consistent supporters of Russia-EU dialogue in the European Parliament. He was an observer at the disputed Crimean referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia in March 2014.

Hungarian prosecutors said covert contacts between Kovacs and Russian intelligence officers were first detected in 2010.

The decision to lift immunity will allow prosecutors to officially investigate and question Kovacs, who has denied the allegations.

Jobbik said it welcomed the EU decision, as did Kovacs, who wants to clear his name.

Jobbik said it wanted to make public all information about the case but was being prevented from doing so by the governing Fidesz party.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS