Hungarian police arrest member of world swimming's governing body over 1998 murder

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - When Hungarian media tycoon Janos Fenyo was gunned down in his car by a dozen submachine gun bullets in downtown Budapest two decades ago it shocked the country and police never found who ordered the murder.

Now police have detained Tamas Gyarfas, an executive at world swimming’s governing body, on suspicion of ordering the murder, state news agency MTI said on Tuesday.

It was not possible to reach Gyarfas by telephone and there was no immediate comment from the International Swimming Federation (FINA), whose office was closed. Gyarfas is one of FINA’s eight-member executive, according to the body’s website.

Fenyo, who was killed at a stop light on Feb. 11, 1998, owned a portfolio of newspapers and magazines and a television network.

Police said in a statement they detained a 69-year-old Budapest man on Tuesday. They gave his name as Tamas Gy and said Gy and 50-year-old Tamas P are suspected of instigating the killing. The statement said police questioned Tamas P last month.

A separate statement said Gy had been questioned and was then formally arrested.

MTI named the man as Gyarfas. It also named Tamas Portik and said he was sentenced last year to 13 years in jail after conviction for another crime.

A Hungarian court sentenced a Slovak man, Jozef Rohac, to life in jail last May for Fenyo’s murder but did not say who ordered the killing.

Hungarian police said on their website a week ago they had reopened the investigation into the case last October.

They also said they questioned a 50-year-old Hungarian man, cited as “Tamas P.” in the case on March 22.

Gyarfas was head of the Hungarian Swimming Association until November 2016 when he resigned under pressure over his leadership from the country’s leading swimmers including triple Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu.

Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg