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DEMETER'S COURT DATE SET FOR FEB. 28

 

LMP lawmaker Márta Demeter is set to appear in court to face charges of abuse of office on Feb. 28, the daily Magyar Nemzet said. Demeter is accused of using her parliamentary privilege in 2018 to obtain confidential data on Hungarian army operations and publishing it on social media illegally. She was charged by Hungary’s central investigating prosecutor last November, the paper noted. Demeter submitted questions to the interior and defence ministers asking them why a minor named Flóra Orbán, whom she had wrongly assumed to be the prime minister’s daughter, had been allowed to travel on an Airbus operated by the Hungarian army, before posting about it on social media. But the information published by Demeter contained falsehoods, the paper said, as it turned out that the daughter of a Hungarian officer, who has the same name as Orbán’s daughter, had been among the passengers.
Hungary’s ruling Fidesz later filed a criminal complaint against Demeter and turned to the National Data Protection and Freedom of Information Authority (NAIH) over the matter. The authority concluded that the documents viewed by Demeter had contained nothing that could have led her to conclude that the prime minister’s daughter had been unlawfully allowed to travel on a military plane. Parliament lifted Demeter’s immunity at the request of the public prosecutor last July after a probe launched by the Constitutional Protection Office determined that she constituted a national security risk. The prosecution proposed that if during preparatory hearings Demeter admits to the crime she is charged with, she should be fined 2,000,000 forints (EUR 5,900), Magyar Nemzet noted. Abuse of office by a lawmaker carries a sentence of up to three years’ imprisonment.