NGO wins libel case against gov’t, Kúria rules

Issues

Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Ministerʼs office, on Thursday acknowledged a decision by the Kúria, Hungaryʼs highest court, upholding a ruling in favor of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, an NGO, in a libel case against the government, state news wire MTI reports.

A billboard, appearing as part of a government-funded national consultation, which says "Do not let Soros have the last laugh!".

"Itʼs a legally binding decision, and the government always acts on those," Gulyás said, fielding a question at a regular press briefing.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee announced the Kuria decision on its website on Wednesday. It said the ruling requires the government to pay a HUF 2 million penalty and to post an apology on the government website for a period of 30 days.

The committee had argued in the case that one of the questions in a survey mailed to all Hungarian homes in 2017 as part of a national consultation on immigration and the mandatory relocation of refugees damaged its reputation.

The question read: "George Soros, with significant amounts of funding, supports numerous organizations that assist immigration and defend immigrants who have committed unlawful acts. One example, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, with regard to the prohibited crossing of the border argued that ʼthe application of strict legal consequences with regard to unlawful entry may be considered concerningʼ...Do you support this point of the Soros Plan?"

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