Upon the initiation of the President of Capitol Court, criminal proceedings were started against the Executive Board of the Labour Party for defamation. According to the accusation and later the arraignment, 7 members of the Board have committed the act of defamation. The Party – in a statement - deemed a verdict of the Capitol Court a ’political decision’ and ’revenge of power’.
The President of the Board was represented by HCLU’s lawyer, since we believe that the statement was an opinion regarding the decision of the Court which is not grounds for initiating and conducting criminal proceedings.
The HCLU believes that in a democracy, everyone has the right to freely express his/her opinion on decisions of the courts and that this right cannot be restricted by criminal law.
In its first instance decision, the Court of Székesfehérvár concluded that the Party’s statement was not an opinion, but rather a statement directly implying untruthful fact. Therefore the act of defamation has been realized.
However, the Court of Székesfehérvár was wrong and its decision was overturned. In the Court’s second instance decision, all defendants were acquitted. The Court found that the statement of the Party was not opprobrious, was not defamatory and that reputations of the courts cannot be determined by political statements.
In this absurd case, none other than the President of the Capitol Court initiated legal proceedings. The HCLU is happy to acknowledge that the Court of Székesfehérvár was able to rise above the person of the plaintiff.