picture of Cecília Müller

Hungary’s National Public Health Center (NNK) published a statement on its website that it would be instituting legal proceedings against independent Member of Parliament Ákos Hadházy for public defamation and violating personal rights.

The MP is being sued for a post he put up on Facebook on Thursday, in which he stated that he would be filing charges for suspected endangerment over permitting the use of the Chinese and Russian vaccines in Hungary. The post (pictured) displayed an image of Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller and the phrase “It was not possible to establish or verify complete and proper laboratory practice.”

The NNK’s statement explained its reasoning for the lawsuit in the following way:

In a post published on Facebook published Thursday, the Member of Parliament alleges, ‘I have filed a report of suspected endangerment through abuse of office and activity… ’ After these words, he included a photograph of the National Chief Medical Officer in the post. It follows directly from his context and message that he associates the National Chief Medical Officer with the identity of the unknown perpetrator.

In response to the news, Ákos Hadházy responded to charges on Facebook, calling the NNK’s announcement funny, sad, and “outrageously cheeky” all at the same time, and that he considers the lawsuit a “tired and worthless piece of crisis communication.” He noted, however, that he would be happy to see a lawsuit over the case, as the agency might then have to release data on the efficacy of the Eastern vaccines.

NNK’s statement points out that it and National Chief Medical Officer Müller are not licensing authorities that authorize permits for vaccines to enter the market under current legislation. The licensing authority granted permits for the “Chinese and Russian vaccines” to be sold in accordance with the applicable legal requirements.

Ákos Hadházy’s public post, due to his professional incompetence and bad faith, smears the National Public Health Center, which has the public duty of protecting against the epidemic. He is thus deliberately misleading the public.

-states the National Public Health Center.

According to the center, Hadházy’s post directly and seriously endangers protection against the epidemic, questions the professional credibility of the professionals working to protect the public, undermines public confidence in the methods of protection, and emboldens the anti-vaccination movement with this and similar statements.

The Member of Parliament’s base attack could only originate from political gain.

-the agency claims, adding that all vaccines used in Hungary are effective and safe.

Hadházy’s original complaint came from documents that were connected to the domestic licensing procedure of the Chinese Sinopharm and Russian Sputnik V vaccines by the National Institute of Pharmacy and Food Health (OGYÉI) and released by Transparency International Hungary as data in the public interest. Despite a court ban, OGYÉI blacked out certain parts of the documents.

However, the blackened-out parts were obscured “in an amateur way,” according to Ákos Hadházy, allowing him to reveal their contents and address his complaints to law enforcement based on what he viewed.

The MP also pointed out that neither vaccine had been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to date.

[Telex]

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By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.