A "Duna-gate" ügy jelentősége a rendszerváltás történelmében : politológiai értelmezési lehetőségek

Révész Béla: A "Duna-gate" ügy jelentősége a rendszerváltás történelmében : politológiai értelmezési lehetőségek. In: Acta Universitatis Szegediensis : acta juridica et politica, (68) 19. pp. 1-131. (2006)

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Abstract

The Danube-gate scandal was undoubtedly one of the first cases which seriously tested the durability of the founding compromises of transition to democracy and the new constitutional arrangements in January 1990. After the fall of the revolution, the restoration of the communist movement resulted in the foundation of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party. The HSWP, defining the consolidation of the state power and the stabilisation of the economy as its main objectives, criticised the former activities of the state security services. Nevertheless, the critiques touched upon surface phenomena only, and the contents of the security work did not undergo basic changes since the ideological bases were left untouched. The new organizational concept of the secret services was worked out by the late 1960s, utilising the experiences derived from the trials based on trumped-up charges. In June 1971 the 3rd Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior was formed and charged with state security tasks under the supervision of a deputy minister. The organization operated until 1990 under the direct control of the state party, ruled by secret internal directives and commands. After the collapse of the communist regime in Hungary, the secret services were fully reorganized. However, prior to the accomplishment of the reforms, they had to face the most severe scandal of their history, known as the Danube-gate case. On 5 January 1990, the Alliance of Free Democrats and the Alliance of Young Democrats, the newly established parties of the opposition held a press conference. They announced that the state security organization of the Ministry of the Interior had collected information about the opposition parties despite the prohibition laid down in the 1989 amendment of the Constitution. Illegal information gathering was evident from copies of reports gained under clandestine Circumstances. The events at the center of the scandal were filmed in late December 1989 by Black Box, an independent organization committed to documenting the events of transition to democracy in Hungary. The film recorded in one of the buildings of the Communist state security services shows a set of documents evidencing the continuing surveillance of opposition figures after the declaration of the republic on October 23, 1989. In addition, the camera records massive shredders in operation, images associated with the large-scale destruction of state security service files in the last days of the Communist regime. As a result of the investigation launched after the press conference, the Chief Directorate 111/3 (internal security) of the Ministry of the Interior was wound up as its activity proved to have breached the Constitution. The Council of Ministers empowered the Chief Directorate 11112 (counter-intelligence) with the most important state security tasks. The decisions of the government met the basic demands of the opposition in connection with the reorganization of the Ministry of the Interior and speeded up further structural changes with regard the national security and public order. A short history of events: January 5. The outbreak of the "Danube-gate" scandal: AFD announces that Main Division No. 3 of the ministry of the interior keeps opposition politicians under surveillance, collects data and information on the opposition parties and movements even after the new constitution have come into effect. AFD and FYD file a report with the police in the case and calls Prime Minister Miklós Németh to distance the government from the unlawful activities of the state security service, and to relieve head of department of the ministry of interior, József Horváth, deputy minister Ferenc Pallagi, and to initiate the resignation of minister of the interior István Horváth. Miklós Németh dissociates himself from the wire-tapping activities and calls the Supreme Prosecutor to conduct prompt investigations in the case. January 7. The minister of the interior appoints a committee to investigate the Danube-gate case and sequestrates the documents of Main Division 3 of the ministry. January 8. The military Supreme Prosecution orders investigations in the Danube-gate case. January 17. József Horváth, head of the internal security service of the ministry of the interior hands in his resignation. January 18. József Végvári, major of the internal security service announces that it was he who had the documents involved in the Danube-gate scandal transferred to FYD and AFD. On the same day he is suspended in his post. January 20. Two thousand people demonstrate in front of the ministry of the interior for the slow investigation of the Danube-gate scandal. January 21. The Council of Ministers dissolves main division 3, the state security office responsible for the illegal surveillance, of the ministry of the interior effective immediately, bans the use of any secret means and stops the elimination of documents. January 23. István Horváth, minister of the interior hands in his resignation. Miklós Németh calls for restraint on the part of political parties and asks them not to instigate hysteria in the future. January 25. Act X of 1990 — the interim regulation of the authorization of special clandestine methods. Later it served as a basis for the interim regulation (Council of Ministers' Decree 26 of 1990) on performing national security tasks. The documents enjoin the establishment of the National Security Office and the Information Office, as civilian, and the Military Information Office and the Military Security Office as military services. The literature dealing with the secret services of the party state, which was written mainly outside Hungary, could rely only on rather sporadic information. In fact, even today, after the fall of the party state, the files and the empirical data of archives which are essential to the analytical research are only partly accessible. Nevertheless, research has started in many directions and has a good basis to hope that the politological characteristics of the security services of the past political systems will become more and more completely disclosed in the near future — including the analysis of the Danube-gate case.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Acta Universitatis Szegediensis : acta juridica et politica
Date: 2006
Volume: 68
Number: 19
ISSN: 0324-6523
Page Range: pp. 1-131
Language: Hungarian, English
Publisher: Szegedi Tudományegyetem Állam- és Jogtudományi Karának tudományos bizottsága
Place of Publication: Szeged
Related URLs: http://acta.bibl.u-szeged.hu/72624/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Politikatörténet - Magyarország
Additional Information: Bibliogr. a lábjegyzetekben ; összefoglalás angol nyelven
Subjects: 06. Humanities
06. Humanities > 06.01. History and archaeology
Date Deposited: 2016. Oct. 15. 11:12
Last Modified: 2023. Dec. 04. 13:38
URI: http://acta.bibl.u-szeged.hu/id/eprint/7305

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