NEWS:Hungary, FBI Pledge To Fight Crime

New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

Jyothi Kanics---Global Survival Network (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Thu, 8 Oct 1998 12:35:43 -0700 (PDT)


Wednesday October 7 8:13 AM EDT

Hungary, FBI Pledge To Fight Crime

By DAVID BRISCOE Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accepted pledges
from top U.S.
Justice Department officials for a joint effort against organized crime in
Central Europe and
elsewhere.

Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh met with Orban on
Tuesday and
agreed to provide FBI agents, laboratory assistance and legal aid to help
Hungary fight growing
Russian-speaking crime groups operating in the region.

Orban meets with President Clinton on Wednesday.

``His fight is our fight,'' said Reno at a news conference of the three
officials and U.S. and
Hungarian ambassadors. ``Hungary is a key battleground in the fight against
crime in Central
Europe and beyond.''

Freeh said the FBI would increase its effort to fight crime at its foreign
roots and said extending the
domestic police agency's arm abroad is justified by past ``mutual assistance
and coordinated
successes.'' He cited FBI participation in fighting organized crime in Italy
and Russia as examples.

Orban, 35, a who took office in July with a promise to battle crime
syndicates as a top priority,
praised the success of an FBI-run, U.S.-funded police academy in Hungary.
The academy, using
simultaneous translators with mostly American instructors, has graduated
more than 750 trainees
from the region and has conducted special classes for thousands of others.

``Hungary is a crossroads,'' which aggravates its crime problems, Orban
said. ``We are a frontier
between East and West.'' He said most of the organized criminal groups
operating in Budapest
were Russian-speaking and from various parts of the old Soviet Union,
including the Asian
republics.

Peter Tufo, U.S. ambassador to Hungary, said the new FBI assistance program
for Europe ``will
be a model for the rest of Europe.''

While at FBI headquarters, Orban viewed photographs the FBI is examining of
a car bombing that
killed four in Budapest on July 2, the day he gave his first address to
parliament as prime minister.
FBI laboratory technicians have already helped analyze the photos. The blast
is believed connected
to rivalry among criminal gangs.

Freeh said the United States will seek diplomatic status for U.S. agents to
serve as liaisons with
Hungarian counterparts, but the new partnership ``is moving beyond liaison
to focusing on actual
joint case work.''

In addition, a Hungarian-American law enforcement working group, modeled on
a successful
Italian-American working group, will be set up to become the principal means
for exchanging
information and expertise.

The United States also will provide legislative experts to help develop
anti-crime legislation for
Hungary, such as money laundering laws and witness protection programs.

The FBI Laboratory will assist with specific cases and provide forensic
training for Hungarian
investigators.

Pending approval by the State Department, the FBI also will provide
Hungarian police with access
to computerized fingerprint scanning and stolen vehicle files. Budapest has
been identified by the
FBI as a vehicle theft ``hot spot'' and conduit for stolen vehicles.


New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Sun May 23 1999 - 13:43:53 EDT