Manager Magazine has won the suit against the Hungarian Privatization and State Holding Company (HPSHC) in a first instance deci

In its judgement, the Metropolitan Court has ordered the HPSHC to release the requested contracts and related documentation on power plants privatization in it’s first instance decision today. Ákos Moskovits, journalist for Manager Magazine, with HCLU’s attorney András Schiffer has filed suit last November.

Manager Magazine has turned to the courts, due to refusal of access last October of privatization contracts of the Mátra Power Plant and Dunamenti Power Plant. The Act on Protection of Personal Data and Freedom of Information clearly states: organizations attending to state assignments are obliged to give out public data relating to state funds and contracts connected to those –with the exception of a few- to anyone. The matter of making public to the tax-payers the documents which are part of the record-income providing and disputed energetic privatization contracts and relevant Bokros-package, has come up from time to time.

The November issue of Manager Magazine published an article of István Kocsis, current CEO of the Hungarian Power Companies Ltd., who in 1995 as Vice-CEO of HPSHC was responsible for execution of the energetic privatization. Citing the article: „in some cases classified clauses were added to the energetic contracts. This happened in the case of the Mátra Thermal Power Station, which was sold to the German RWE. In the classified clause, HPSHC based on the Bükkábrány lignite-mine, has pledged to expand the capacity by double 500MW for the 26million payed by the German company beyond the 74million purchase price. However the Orbán-administration judged the expanding of capacity to be redundant, and due to breach of contact had to pay compensation to RWE, who has by that time bought the lignite-mine. The circumstances of signing of the clause has been inspected by a subcommittee of the parliament, where István Kocsis was also heard. At that time he was already employed by RWE.”

Associates of Manager Magazine presumed that if they could inspect these documents, which dispose of Hungarian citizens’ common assets, then truth could come to light.

Share

Related articles

Landmark decision on freedom of information by the European Court of Human Rights

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union won a freedom of information case against the Republic of Hungary. For the first time, the right to access to state-held information as part of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights has been formally recognized, as reflected in today’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. The Strasbourg based Court declared that withholding information needed to participate in public debate on matters of public importance may violate the freedom of expression.

HCLU Wins Landmark Freedom of Information Case

The Hungarian Ministry of Development and Economics is ordered to disclose data, which reveal what investments worth 200 billion Hungarian forints – nearly 800 million euros - were carried out by Swedish companies in exchange for the purchase of Gripen fighter-jets by the Hungarian Air Force. The journalist of on-line newspaper, origo.hu – with legal representation provided by the HCLU - has initiated a Freedom of Information lawsuit in December, 2007, because the Ministry has previously rejected to provide information to the journalist’s FOI request. According to the September 8th ruling of the Regional Court of Appeals, the defendant Ministry acted unlawfully.

Invitation to Court: Journalist vs. Capital Municipality

Bence Gáspár Tamás, journalist of index.hu requested access to data on investments related to Metro Line 4, including data on direct and indirect effects on employment and information on environmental effects.