Former Hungary Swimming Head Tamas Gyarfas Arrested In Murder Case

Tamas Gyarfas. Photo Courtesy: Swimming World

Former head of the Hungarian swimming federation Tamas Gyarfas has been arrested in connection with a 1998 murder case.

Gyarfas has been in police custody since late Tuesday on suspicion of ordering the Feb. 11, 1998 killing of media mogul Janos Fenyo, who was fatally shot in his car in downtown Budapest.

Gyarfas and Fenyo were both key players in the Hungarian media industry but were working for rival businesses.
He has denied any involvement in the murder of Fenyo, a crime in which Slovakian Jozef Rohac is serving a lifetime sentence for. The person who hired Rohac had previously not been identified.

Defense lawyer Janos Banati said Wednesday that Gyarfas has told police about his conflict with Fenyo as well as their later reconciliation, news sources reported. Banati said Gyarfas gave “comprehensive and logical answers” to authorities’ questions, according to The Associated Press. More information is expected once Gyarfas’ release or possible further arrest or detention is decided.

Gyarfas, who led the Hungarian Swimming Federation from 1993 to 2006 while also holding top positions in European and international swimming organizations was the leader of Hungary’s Olympic committee.

Fenyo, who worked for years as a press photographer, launched a successful chain of video rental stores shortly after returning in 1987 from a stay in the United States, according to The Associated Press. Later, he began building a media company that grew to include popular magazines and newspapers as well as a cable TV channel.

He had a well-known rivalry with Gyarfas, who was the producer of state television’s morning program, the AP reported.

On Feb. 11, 1998, Fenyo was shot numerous times with a Croatian-made submachine gun, which later was recovered by police, according to the AP. The assassination shocked the country and speculation about its motive immediately centered on Fenyo’s legal and allegedly illegal business dealings, news sources reported.

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