Ulrike Lunacek, European PM, sues Zsolt Bayer

Does the name Ulrike Lunacek ring a bell? For the faithful readers of Hungarian Spectrum it should.  She is an Austrian member of the European Parliament who at the European Parliament’s Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs hearings on “The Situation in Hungary” called attention to the fact that in the much glorified Peace March of January 2012 there were a number of antisemitic posters. That prompted Zsolt Bayer to call her all sorts of names on EchoTV, the far-right television station whose owner, Gábor Széles, also owns Magyar Hírlap. The staff of the television station and the newspaper overlap. Zsolt Bayer writes a weekly column in the paper and also has a political show on Friday nights on EchoTV called ” Korrektúra.” The details can be read in a post that appeared here on February 15 entitled “Fidesz style: Ulrike Lunacek versus Zsolt Bayer.” 

Ulrike Lunacek was right. There were antisemitic posters carried by the peace marchers.

Ulrike Lunacek was right. There were antisemitic posters carried by the peace marchers.

Here are a few choice words of Zsolt Bayer. “Then comes a half-witted [The Germans translated it as ‘brain amputeed’] impetiginous lying idiot, Ulrike Lunacek, and I expressed myself delicately … The whole rotten filthy lie from the mouth of a rotten filth bag.” He went on and told the audience his opinion of the European Union in general: “The Union not only has no ethos, it has nothing. The Union has Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Neelie Kroes, and that little green, one cannot even remember her name, yes, Ulrike Lunacek.”

But the world is small and Ulrike Lunacek read about Bayer’s remarks and insisted that EchoTV distance itself from Zsolt Bayer. Naturally, they didn’t. Then she turned to the Media Authority. Again, nothing happened. But, it seems, Ms Lunacek is insistent. She decided to sue Zsolt Bayer. Here is the claim she submitted to the Metropolitan Court (Fővárosi Bíróság).

* * *

 

Metropolitan Court

1055 Budapest,

Markó u. 27.

To the honorable Metropolitan Court,

Ulrike Lunacek (address: European Parliament, Bât. Altiero Spinelli, 08G169; Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Bruxelles, Belgium) as claimant hereby submits the following

claim

through her appointed, external legal representative against Zsolt Bayer as first defendant (2098 Pilisszentkereszt, Tölgyfa utca 13.) and ECHO HUNGÁRIA TV. Co. (1145 Budapest, Törökőr u. 78.) as second defendant requesting the Court to declare violation of personality rights, to prohibit from further infringement and to claim for damages.

Hereby I apply to the Court to declare violation of the claimant’s personality rights and prohibit the defendants from further infringement based on the detailed justification below, in accordance with Section 75 and 76 of the Civil Code, also considering points a) and b) of Section 84 Paragraph (1).

In accordance with Section 84 Paragraph (1) point e) and Section 339 and 355 of the Civil Code I apply to the Court to oblige the defendants to pay 300000 HUF (1st defendant) and 500 000 HUF (2nd defendant) for the damages, including interests calculated from the 9th of February, 2012.

The justification of our action is the following:

I. Brief summary of the case

In the TV show titled Korrektúra, broadcast on ECHO TV (2nd defendant), the 1st defendant made the below quoted statements, severely violating the claimant’s personality (inherent) rights. The statements were made as reactions to the claimant’s speech at the hearing of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the 9th of February, 2012. The recording of the speech was not presented in the program and the interpretation of its content was significantly biased.

„Then comes a brainless, impetiginous, lying idiot, Ulrike Lunacek, (…) and how nicely I expressed myself. (…) The whole thing is a rotten, dirty lie from the mouth of a rotten dirt.

After this the presenter and the other persons participating in the program make ambiguous comments questioning the femininity of the claimant and they seem to enjoy their own „wittiness”.

1. Violating inherent rights by declaring infringing ” opinion”: slander and violation of human dignity.

According to our position, the defendants severely violated the personality rights of the plaintiff by making fun of her femininity in a manner that would be unacceptable in a pub as well, not only in a TV show. The verbal abuse was pointless and uncalled for, ignoring the human dignity of the plaintiff. Although the plaintiff, as a member of the European Parliament and as a public figure must endure criticism and critical opinion but she should not be required to tolerate vulgar and abusive statements and remarks that hurt her female dignity.

Points (2) –(3) of Article Q of the Fundamental Law of Hungary states that Hungary shall ensure harmony between international law and Hungarian law in order to fulfill its obligations under international law. Hungary shall accept the generally recognised rules of international law. Points (1)-(2) of Article I of the Fundamental Law acknowledge that the inviolable and inalienable fundamental rights of MAN shall be respected and defended by the State as a primary obligation. Hungary shall recognise the fundamental rights which may be exercised by individuals and communities.

Article II of the Fundamental Law states that human dignity shall be inviolable. Every human being shall have the right to life and human dignity; embryonic and foetal life shall be subject to protection from the moment of conception.

According to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights integrated into the Hungarian legal system in the XXXI. Act of 1993 everyone has the right to freedom of expression. According to the 2nd point, the exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society (…) for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others.

According to Point 2 Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, integrated into the Hungarian legal system in the Act No. 8 of 1976, everyone has the right to freedom of expression. Point 3 states that the exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of the article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others (…).

According to Section 75 Paragraph (1) of the Civil Code, inherent rights shall be respected by everyone. These inherent rights are protected by law. Within the meaning of Section 76, discrimination against private persons on the grounds of gender, race, ancestry, national origin, or religion; injury of body and health, violation of the freedom of conscience, any unlawful restriction of personal freedom, contempt for or insult to the honor, integrity or human dignity of private persons shall be deemed as violations of inherent rights.

According to common judicial practice, criticism that is wantonly offensive or humiliating, or that is wantonly hurtful and humiliating in its phrasing,  can be considered infringing ( BH 1993.89; BH 2002.352; BTD2006.1466).

Without any doubt, the 1st defendant formulated his negative opinion about the plaintiff in a deliberately malignant way, ignoring human dignity. The phrases that he used are obviously unduly humiliating, brutal beyond reason and deliberately degrading.

2. Sanctions

Based on the above elaborated aspects we claim that the defendants violated the inherent rights of the plaintiff, therefore we apply to the honorable Court to impose both objective and subjective sanctions.

We request the honorable Court to:

a)                  establish that infringement has taken place based on Section 75 Paragraph (1), Sections 76 and 78 and Section 85 Paragraph (3), taking into consideration point a) of Section 84 Paragraph (1) of the Civil Code.

b)                 to oblige the defendants to terminate the infringement and prohibit them from further infringement based on Section 75 Paragraph (1), Sections 76 and 78 and Section 85 Paragraph (3), considering point b) of Section 84 Paragraph (1), having regard to the regularity of the articles and programmes.

c)                  to oblige the defendants to pay 300000 HUF (1st defendant) and 500000 (2nd defendant) indemnification for non-pecuniary damages as well as its interests calculated from the 9th of February, 2012, based on Section 75 Paragraph (1), Sections 76 and 78 as well as Section 84 Paragraph (1) point e).

Based on the above explained aspects, our position is that the defendants unambiguously violated the inherent rights of the plaintiff, therefore we think that the necessity of imposing objective sanctions is not questionable and does not require further justification.

As a result of the abusive TV program of the defendants, the plaintiff was sought out by several people, she was questioned about the statements made in the program: she is continuously forced to make explanations. The vituperative nature of the TV program instigating hate against the plaintiff is unambiguous.

As a Member of Parliament, the trustworthiness and credibility of the plaintiff have outstanding significance, therefore the negative effects of discrediting and verbally abusing her in front of the wide public are hard to estimate.

According to our position the amount of the indemnification for non-pecuniary damages claimed by the plaintiff is in accordance with the current judicial practice and cannot be considered exaggerated having regard to the severe infringement that has taken place.

In view of the above we kindly apply to the the honorable Court to accept our request and to award the defendants our litigation costs.

A 1990. évi XCIII. törvény 62.§ (1) f) pontja alapján felperest illetékfeljegyzési jog illeti meg.

A Tisztelt Fővárosi Törvényszék hatáskörét a Pp. 23. § (1) bekezdésének g) pontjára, illetékességét a Pp 30. § (1) és 40. § (3) bekezdéseire alapítjuk.

Budapest, 11th of February, 2013

Sincerely,

on behalf of the plaintiff Ulrike Lunacek

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Yul
Guest

good for her!

Polish
Guest

She is a public figure, so she is expected to suffer such expressions as idiot or filth bag. I would be surprisd if the final and binding ruling would decide for her.

Law is not omnipotent, there are situations where law is just not effective. Bayer is a troll and he cannot be stopped (his pretty ingenious with his words) by law. only.

Lecso
Guest

Good luck, Zsolt Bayer cannot be touched, the great leader will not allow it.

Member

One of the Fidesz guards cum Ferencvaros soccer hooligans spent ten years in jail for murder.

http://www.hir24.hu/belfold/2013/03/07/tuntetok-hatoltak-be-a-fidesz-szekhazaba/

at 17:30

Polish
Guest

These local by-elections don’t really have a serious political consequnces, but are a great way to test the machinery and get a feel of the mood. That said, I also think that Fidesz could win seriously in Dunakesz, even if MSZP and Együtt joined. Also, Dunakeszi is a place where a joint oppositionmust win if it they are to have any chance in 2014 (as there are numerous districts where the right always wins no matter what, like in Texas the Republicans).

Also, it’s not like DK can have a candidate everywhere (although they have a nice natinal organisation), sometimes – due to the local specialities – it’s better to compromise. And given the election system, DK has to join some party, because realitically they cannot win (only perhaps if MSZP and Együtt supports their candidate together).

Member

rough translation https://www.facebook.com/azalkotmanynemjatek

The Constitution is not a plaything

[We demand] genuine constitution to Hungary.

Fidesz is building an oppressive system […]

———-
We protest the destruction of the constitutional system.

We protest that Fidesz writes into the “Basic Law”
passages that were deemed unconstitutional
by the Constitutional court.

We protest the narrowing of the power of the on the Constitutional court and
the invalidation of its decisions of the last 22 years.

We protest the elimination of university autonomy financially
and making the students serfs.

We protest the official persecution of the homeless.

We protest the exclusion from the notion of family the childless, non-married
or same-sex couples.

We protest the restriction on freedom of speech.

We protest the further restrictions on the independence of the judiciary.

We protest the discrimination among the churches.

We protest the restrictions on free elections.

————

The “Basic Law” created unilaterally by one party is not the legitimate constitution
of Hungary. It serves the power and interests of the Fidesz party only, deprives us of our
rights and causes discrimination.

The government is not legitimate because it abused its mandate by intending to
obtain and maintain absolute power.

Member

Polish :
She is a public figure, so she is expected to suffer such expressions as idiot or filth bag. I would be surprisd if the final and binding ruling would decide for her.
Law is not omnipotent, there are situations where law is just not effective. Bayer is a troll and he cannot be stopped (his pretty ingenious with his words) by law. only.

Did you read the whole text ? I guess not. Start reading from the first word starting with M, until the last one, K. In between you will find very fine reasoning on what is acceptable even for politicians. I hope this helps!

petofi
Guest

I wonder who her lawyer is…He can give up practicing
in Hungary after this.

petofi
Guest

Unless, of course, the lawyer has already sought permission from herr Viktor…

petofi
Guest

Hey, this report just in on the Drudgereport:

“Man Goes Berserk With Ax at Dunkin’ Donuts”–Do you suppose

the Azeris sent their man to Disneyland…?

petofi
Guest

The boys in red are soon to hold their huddle.
What the world needs now is for the Forrest Man to win the pulpit…then we’ll all know we’ve
entered the hall of mirrors and madness…

Member

petofi :
I wonder who her lawyer is…He can give up practicing
in Hungary after this.

Good one. hahaha

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

I guess Ulrike Lunacek will have a fair chance to win, unless the independence of justice will be also touched in Orbanistan. There are limits and Zsolt Bayer, the “fecal-antisemite” as the Vienna Die Presse qualified him, has not respected those limits thinking as the good friend of Viktor Orbán he is above the law.
If the Hungarian court will not condemn Bayer, then Ulrike Lunacek will have the possibility to go to the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg.
Anyway Michael Spindelegger Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and a good friend of János Martonyi was forced to take steps against Hungary because Austrian peasants who legally bought in Hungary land, which was registered in the Hungarian land register, are forced with backdatet orders to sell back their land.

grogg
Guest

Karl, no, although Ulrike might win at first instance (very low chances), I am almost certain that she will not prevail. Not because of politics, simply these words are within the limits of free expressions in Hungary. She was not called a piece of sh**t, a w**re and similar tougher insults (Bayer made it sure). I suspect that his text is vetted by a lawyer.

karl pfeifer
Guest

grogg, it does not really matter. Because it is possible to appeal to the European Human Rights Court. I have been accused to have contributed with a review written in 1995 to the suicide of an Austrian in 2000. The Austrian courts judged, that it is permissible.
I appealed to the above named court and won the case pfeifer v austria in 2007.

Ron
Guest

Karl: The way I look at it, that it is a missed opportunity.

Okay they charge Zsolt Bayer and Echo, but what about the other people behind the program? They could have stopped this, and they did not. Of course they say we are working for Echo and therefore, you cannot charge us, and Echo can say we did not know about this.

They should have charge Bayer, Echo and all the people behind the program for personal responsibility. This case could be important, but according to me not for its own merits, but for future reference.

LwiiH
Guest

karl pfeifer :
grogg, it does not really matter. Because it is possible to appeal to the European Human Rights Court. I have been accused to have contributed with a review written in 1995 to the suicide of an Austrian in 2000. The Austrian courts judged, that it is permissible.
I appealed to the above named court and won the case pfeifer v austria in 2007.

The sums involved really only make any judgement a pitance. What is being missed is this guy is not being forced to resign from anything!!! Were are the calls from the opposition for his sacking and resignation from parliament?

LwiiH
Guest

LwiiH :
The sums involved really only make any judgement a pitance. What is being missed is this guy is not being forced to resign from anything!!! Were are the calls from the opposition for his sacking and resignation from parliament?

Seriously, everyone here I talk to is embarrassed by this guys behaviour and that he represents them outside of the country.

Grw
Guest

Gergely Gulyás, the young Fidesz point man for all constitutional issues asked whether it was not a bit too late (i.e. a couple of days before the voting on Monday) to throw a hissy fit about the constitutional amendments?

He also said that the proper method for the demonstrators [those who took over the Fidesz HQ yesterday – by the way the real HQ are in Szentkirályi utca, the demonstrators were a bif off by about 10 years] would have been to ask the opposition parties to raise any comments in the Parliament, the designated place for such political debates. Why, now it is a bit too late and – he also intimated that – there is zero chance that the voting is postponed.

I like this guy, he is a real Fidesz-talent, I see a bright future ahead of him, possible a top judicial position in 5-10 years (he is only 32).

Bowen
Guest

Grw :

He also said that the proper method for the demonstrators [those who took over the Fidesz HQ yesterday – by the way the real HQ are in Szentkirályi utca, the demonstrators were a bif off by about 10 years] would have been to ask the opposition parties to raise any comments in the Parliament, the designated place for such political debates.

Yes, just like Orban always did from 2006-2010.

Fidesz moved from Szentkiralyi utca to their much grander location about two years ago.

Grw
Guest

Bowen: I stand corrected.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

The sums involved really only make any judgement a pitance. What is being missed is this guy is not being forced to resign from anything!!! Were are the calls from the opposition for his sacking and resignation from parliament?

Zsolt Bayer is not a member of parliament. Therefore no calls for his resignation.
He is the living proof for the fact, that there is not such a big difference between Fidesz and Jobbik.

petofi
Guest

Ron :
Karl: The way I look at it, that it is a missed opportunity.
Okay they charge Zsolt Bayer and Echo, but what about the other people behind the program? They could have stopped this, and they did not. Of course they say we are working for Echo and therefore, you cannot charge us, and Echo can say we did not know about this.
They should have charge Bayer, Echo and all the people behind the program for personal responsibility. This case could be important, but according to me not for its own merits, but for future reference.

“…For future reference..”??

Haven’t you heard, Hungary plans to abolish
judicial precedent–

petofi
Guest

@GRW:

“I like this guy, he is a real Fidesz-talent, I see a bright future ahead of him, possible a top judicial position in 5-10 years (he is only 32).”

I like him, too, and will be sad to hear what’ll
happen down the road when self-realization
sets in…

petofi
Guest

Grw :
Bowen: I stand corrected.

Yes, the past practice seemed to be to sell the previous party center, swallow the money, and then ask the parliament for fresh cash to buy new.

‘Oh, Magyarok, what kind of simpletons and suckers art thou?’

LwiiH
Guest

Karl Pfeifer :
The sums involved really only make any judgement a pitance. What is being missed is this guy is not being forced to resign from anything!!! Were are the calls from the opposition for his sacking and resignation from parliament?
Zsolt Bayer is not a member of parliament. Therefore no calls for his resignation.
He is the living proof for the fact, that there is not such a big difference between Fidesz and Jobbik.

duhhh, of course.. I meant disassociated with his party and of course the paper.

Nick
Guest

@GRW “He also said that the proper method … would have been to ask the opposition parties to raise any comments in the Parliament, the designated place for such political debates.

Problem is Fidesz with their 2/3 majority do not listen to the other parties! They won’t even register DK.

I watched the coverage on MTV1. The Fidesz spokespeople did come across as very pleasant and reasonable, even bringing cakes out to the protestors. A far cry from their behaviour in Parlament. Clearly shot for the cameras!

Member

Ader will go to Germany on an official visit on Monday, the same day his comrades in Fidesz will push through the mega-amendment.

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