Zoltan Bakonyi: Hungary Toxic Sludge Boss Arrested
Zoltan Bakonyi of MAL Co. Arrested over Danube Toxic Sludge Spill
Zoltan Bakonyi, managing director of MAL Co., whose 185 million gallons of toxic sludge has spilled into the Danube River, was arrested for public endangerment. If convicted, he could face 10 years in prison. Meanwhile, the Hungarian government siezed control of MAL.
The Toxic sludge spill has devastated entire towns and threatened the Danube River itself, whose toxin levels are being closely monitored. Eight people have been killed in the MAL toxic sludge spill, and hundreds have been injured.
- Hungary Toxic Sludge Reaches Masoni-Danube River
- Toxic Sludge in Kolontar, Devecser and Somlovasarhely
At this point, BP is probably very happy to be based in the UK.
Orban warned Saturday of the "toughest possible consequences" for those responsible for the spill and said human error was the cause.
"Behind this tragedy, some human errors and mistakes must exist," he said. "We will reveal all of that, and the consequences will be very serious -- as much as you can imagine."
Some, though, see the government appropriation of MAL as a cynical power-grab:
Peter Rona, a Hungarian economist and visiting fellow at Oxford University, said, “It is certainly the case that the behavior of MAL’s management has been bloodcurdling and inept.”
“But,” he added, “Mr. Orban is seizing every opportunity to accumulate economic and political power in the hands of the government and is taking advantage of the situation to further his agenda.”