The chief prosecutor’s office has rejected complaints made by lawmakers concerning their removal from public media (MTVA) headquarters after they staged a protest there last December. The deputies said they had been forcefully removed after attempting to have a declaration broadcast, and turned to the public prosecutor after their complaint was dismissed by the central prosecutor’s office of investigations in January. The deputies insisted that they had entered the public media buildings in their official capacity and the security guards had acted unlawfully.
The prosecutor’s office said in its justification of Wednesday’s decision that “violence against an official person can only be committed if the person is acting lawfully”. According to the prosecutor’s office, the deputies had no legal basis to enter the building and its studios. Their action was “of a political nature”, therefore “they are not entitled” to exemption from penal regulations, the office said, adding that the security guards had acted “lawfully and in a proportionate manner” while the coercion they applied was “lawful and necessary”.
On the night of December 16, a group of opposition MPs demonstrating against the passage of changes to the labour code entered public media MTVA headquarters and demanded that their petition be broadcast. After a sit-in for several hours, independent lawmakers Bernadett Szél and Ákos Hadházy were forcibly removed from the building by security staff.
The opposition MPs concerned have decided to file supplementary private charges. Szél said on Facebook that the prosecutor’s decision had been “politically motivated” and “no meaningful investigation” had been carried out. Citing a legal opinion by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union NGO (TASZ), she said it was worth taking the prosecutor and the case to court. “In effect, we’ll have to carry out the investigation, take on the role of prosecutor and bring the case to court,” Szél said. “We have 60 days.”