Origo and Ripost might have to pay millions in compensation to Márton Gulyás

September 18, 2017

Origo and Ripost might have to pay millions in compensation to Márton Gulyás
Márton Gulyás on trial after he threw paintballs at the Sándor Palota during a pro-CEU protest. Photo: Index.hu/János Bődey

The Budapest-Capital Regional Court obliged government-tied mediums Origo and Ripost to pay activist Márton Gulyás a total of HUF 4.3 million (USD 16,600) in compensation for publishing defamatory articles on his private life, reports index.hu.

Gulyás filed a lawsuit against the news site Origo and the tabloid Ripost earlier this year after the two flagships of the government propaganda machine published articles about how Gulyás “immediately ran” to a known gay dating site after he was released from pre-trial detention. Gulyás was taken into custody for throwing paintballs at the Sándor Palota (Sándor Palace) at a pro-Central European University protest in April.

The Budapest-Capital Regional Court ruled that publishers of Origo and Ripost must pay Gulyás HUF 800,000 (USD 3,100) and HUF 3.5 million (USD 13,500), respectively, in compensation and obliged the media outlets to remove the offending articles from their websites. The court also banned the media outlets from investigating Gulyás’s private life or publishing his private photos. The court, however, rejected the parts of Gulyás’s lawsuit regarding violation of human dignity and illegal data management.

The court justified the exceptionally high fine by the fact that the sole purpose of the articles was to discredit Gulyás by reference to his sexual orientation. The court’s decision is not final.