Paris – Belgian police reportedly involved about 20 men, including at least one foreign politician and several diplomats, in an illegal closure orgy in a bar in a center in Brussels.
Officers exploded Friday night on the ground floor of a bar in the Belgian capital, Rue des Pierres, to discover alcohol, drugs and a Belgian newspaper known as the “party of the feet in the air”. La Dernière Heure (DH) reported that a source said, “We’ve interrupted a band bang!”
One of the revelers was József Szajer, the Hungarian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and the leading figure of the far-right Fidesz party of Governor Viktor Orbán until his resignation on Sunday. He tried to escape through the window and along the gutter, but wounded himself and then faced the reinforcement of the police who had just arrived. Some reports say the politician tried to invoke parliamentary immunity, but European Parliament regulations state that members can be “investigated, detained or tried” if they are “found guilty of committing a crime”.
Amid speculation over an unnamed Member of the European Parliament, Szajer wrote a blog post on his personal website on Tuesday admitting that he had violated Belgium’s lockout rules by attending the party. “I was present,” said Szajer, who was the founder of Fidesz, known for his anti-LGBTQ stance, and was a party leader in the Hungarian Parliament between 1994 and 2002. “After the police asked for my identity – as I did not have an ID card – I declared that I was a Member of the European Parliament.”
Szajer claimed that he had not used drugs and that he had “no knowledge” of the ecstasy pills found on the spot, adding, “I apologize to my family, colleagues and constituents.”
The 59-year-old submitted his resignation to the European Parliament on Sunday, even before the revelations appeared, and then said his decision marked the end of a “long period of reflection”. Szajer, who is married, played a key role in what the critic said about Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ stance. He was one of three politicians in 2011 when he rewrote the Hungarian constitution to define “the institution of marriage between a man and a woman” and to prohibit adoption for same-sex couples.
A Brussels prosecutor said in a statement sent to The Daily Beast in an email that 20 men were arrested at a party on Friday and fined € 250 each. “Police were alerted by neighbors who complained of noise and possible violations of measures related to the COVID-19 epidemic,” he said.
– A passerby reported to the police that he had seen a man fleeing along the canal; he was able to identify the man. The man’s hand was bloody. He may have been injured while fleeing. Drugs were found in his backpack. The man was unable to present identity documents. He was escorted to his place of residence, where he identified himself as an SJ (1961) with a diplomatic passport. “
Sascha Hardt, an assistant professor of constitutional law at the University of Maastricht, believes that an attempt at Szajer’s parliamentary immunity may have been an abuse of power. – Looks like he was captured flagrante delicto, in which case this immunity does not apply, ”he told The Daily Beast.
Reports identified a gay bar in Brussels as the site of the orgy, but its owner denied it.
– This is absolutely false. It didn’t happen here. I think I need to talk to my lawyer, ”he told The Daily Beast.
Based on DH, all present were fined by the party for violating Belgian restrictions on gatherings under coronavirus legislation. According to local reports, the Brussels prosecutor’s office was informed of the case and decided to release the interested parties without further charges. The mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close, was also notified.
European Parliament spokesman Delphine Colard told The Daily Beast: “We have no confirmation of the allegations or the information about the MEP. Please note that the standards of conduct laid down by the EP apply to conduct in the course of parliamentary activity – not to personal life. If this fact were to be established and punished by the local, national authorities, those authorities would have to decide on possible sanctions. “
Belgium last month introduced a second short circuit with a curfew, banned gatherings of more than four people, and with so-called “hug connections” – with whom you can be physically close – we reduce it to just one person outside the people’s household.
The Daily Beast received no comments from Brussels police at the time of publication. Officials of the Hungarian Fidesz party refused to comment.