Márton Gulyás offers defamation lawsuit award to Common Country Movement

January 25, 2018

Origo and Ripost might have to pay millions in compensation to Márton Gulyás
Photo: Index.hu/János Bődey

In September, we reported that Budapest Metropolitan Court had sided (on the first level) with Márton Gulyás in a case against pro-government propaganda outlets Origo and Ripost for publishing defamatory content about his personal life.

Gulyás (pictured) had filed suit against the publishers earlier in the year after they published articles reporting how he “immediately ran” to a known gay dating site after he was released from pre-trial detention.

Although sentenced to perform community service for throwing water-soluble paint at the Presidential Palace in protest of Lex CEU, Gulyás won the defamation lawsuit and the publishers were ordered to pay damages of HUF 800,000 (USD 3,100) and HUF 3.5 million (USD 13,500), and to remove the defamatory content. But the publishers appealed the first-level court’s decision.

Now, a second-level has upheld the first-level court’s ruling. Gulyás announced that he would use the money to pay his legal fees, then donate the remainder (some HUF 3 million) to his Common Country Movement.

Common Country Movement has been leading the charge for – among other things – opposition parties to engage in the joint fielding of candidates in the general election on April 8. To help this process along, the movement has been soliciting donations and working with pollsters to assess key electoral districts around the country.

Last week, Common Country Movement activists doused the State Audit Office’s (ÁSZ) headquarters in water-soluble orange paint to protest against the agency being used as a political tool by Hungary’s ruling party.