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7th December, 2017

Constitutional Court rules on press liability

Media outlets covering press conferences on matters connected to public affairs are not liable for defamation, the Constitutional Court stated in a ruling published on Wednesday.

When reporting on the press briefings of public figures, journalists will not be obliged to verify facts and not be held responsible for publishing false claims, the court ruled.

A website had submitted a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court, objecting to a suit that had been launched against it for covering a press briefing held by a politician in the matter of the tobacco tenders.

According to the overturned Kuria verdict false claims had been published at the expense of a politician at the briefing and the website was responsible for spreading claims that were false.

However, the Constitutional Court ruled that this interpretation of the concept of rumours
7th December, 2017

Audit Office concludes Jobbik accepted illegal subsidies

The State Audit Office said Wednesday that Jobbik had accepted over Ft 331.6 million in banned subsidies from legal entities which under the provisions of the party law effective from January 1, 2014 were classified as banned contributions. Under the law non-cash contributions are banned if a party avails itself of or places orders for services at below-market prices.

Caucus leader Janos Volner told reporters that the party anticipates more than Ft 660 million in fines, which will practically deplete the resources the party would have spent on political and campaign-related activities.

Volner said to ATV that it has become doubtful whether Jobbik will be able to run at next year
7th December, 2017

Charges pressed against Bela Kovacs

The prosecution has pressed charges against Jobbik MEP Bela Kovacs for crimes against the state and budgetary transgressions, the Prosecutor General
7th December, 2017

Authority finds no misconduct in Tallai hometown fuel price cut

The motivation of head of the tax authority Andras Tallai was merely benevolent when he had energy company MOL lower its fuel prices in Mezokovesd, where Tallai used to be a mayor and currently serves as MP of the town, the office of the prosecutors KNYF found.

LMP caucus leader Bernadett Szel reported the case to authorities on suspicion of abuse of power.

Tallai was acting for the public, the prosecutors underlined. The fact that Tallai is the head of NAV did not influence his negotiating partners at MOL, the prosecutors argued. (hvg.hu; index.hu; 444.hu; nepszava.hu)
7th December, 2017

NAV looks into university expenditures

The tax office NAV is investigating the suspicious use of funds at the National Public Service University, website 24 reported on Wednesday.

Among other things, the tax authority is interested in a case involving former undersecretary Anita Boros, who received roughly Ft 10 million from the university for additional work on a book she had written earlier.

Boros had signed a contract in 2013 to write 900 pages within one month. At that time she was both a ministerial chief adviser and legal consultant and an associate professor at the National Public Service University.

Until she resigned on Tuesday she served as undersecretary at the Development Ministry overseeing asset management.

A report had been filed by LMP co-president Akos Hadhazy who told Klubradio he was happy to see an investigation launched at all. He said it was questionable that the university needed to spend Ft 8,000 per square meter in EU funding for government offices whose staff members were trained on the premises. (24.hu; klubradio.hu; napi.hu; mno.hu; 444.hu)
7th December, 2017

Vadai: over 100,000 signatures collected

More than 100,000 signatures have been collected by the Democratic Coalition in the campaign launched to ensure that persons who have never resided in Hungary would not be allowed to cast an electoral vote, vice-president Agnes Vadai told ATV Wednesday.

Vadai argued that this is a national cause and that people agree with the idea of dual citizenship but not with the idea that those who have never lived in Hungary should be allowed to vote.

She said the government wants to buy votes by offering this opportunity, as they also do by granting funds in the social sphere, such as baby bonds or the Ft 90 billion economy-boosting project in the Voivodina province.

In related news, the executive committee of the Democratic Coalition will decide next week who will be on the party
7th December, 2017

Budapest to restrict noise on Margaret Island

Budapest city council approved a noise restriction decree on Wednesday which will regulate the noise of activities on Margaret Island, Napi writes. Margaret Island is under the direct control of the council, the website added.

The council passed the proposal submitted by deputy mayor Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky with 25 affirmative votes and one abstention.

From March 2018, cultural establishments may only generate noise between 10 a.m. and midnight and sports facilities and other establishments may use sound systems between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Loud events may take place on sport facility grounds between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. The use of amplifiers at open air events will be restricted to the hours between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. (napi.hu; hirado.hu; hvg.hu; index.hu; magyaridok.hu)

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