Fidesz has lost a defamation case against the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. The governing party was sued by the NGO after claiming the group was “a pseudo-civil organization”. Fidesz also said the group was “lying” about immigration at the behest of “international speculative capital” so that it could “stuff its pockets with George Soros’ money”.
Damages and apology
On Wednesday, the Hungarian appeals court ruled in favor of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, saying Fidesz damaged the organization’s good reputation. The party was ordered to pay HUF 1 million (USD 3500) to the NGO and must publicly apologize for its statement.
In a statement issued after the ruling, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee announced it would spend the money on protecting the rights of migrants.
This was not the first time the government was forced to apologize. Last fall Fidesz spokesman Péter Hoppál (pictured) was ordered by a court to issue an apology on the party’s website for claiming the Hungarian Helsinki Committee wants to discredit the Hungarian government with the help of millionaire businessman George Soros.