The European Parliament has lifted the immunity of a Hungarian deputy suspected of spying on EU institutions for Russia.

A motion to suspend the immunity of Bela Kovacs of the far-right Jobbik party was approved Wednesday by a show of hands in the European Parliament.

Hungarian prosecutors said covert contacts between Kovacs and Russian intelligence officers were first detected in 2010.

The decision will allow prosecutors to officially investigate and question Kovacs, who has denied the allegations.

Jobbik said it welcomed the EU decision, as did Kovacs, who wants to clear his name. Jobbik said it wanted to make public all information about the case but was being prevented from doing so by the governing Fidesz party.