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Opposition MP Demeter Can Face 3-years in Prison for ‘Abuse of Office’

Péter Cseresnyés 2019.07.10.

If the Hungarian Parliament suspends the immunity of MP Márta Demeter on Friday, she could be prosecuted as early as next week. If the court finds her guilty of “abuse of office,” she could be sentenced up to three years in prison, according to pro-government political daily ‘Magyar Nemzet.’

On October 16th of last year, Demeter, at the time vice-chair of parliament’s defense and law-enforcement committee delegated by opposition LMP, had turned to the interior and defense ministers for information about one of the daughters of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, alleging on social media that she had flown from Cyprus to Hungary aboard a military aircraft. Demeter’s information proved false as it turned out that the same-named daughter of a Hungarian officer serving in Cyprus had been the passenger.

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According to the Chief Prosecutor ‘s office, Demeter published “information concerning the operations of the Hungarian Military” on social media and this act “could be termed as abuse of office.” Deputy Defense Minister Szilárd Németh stated, the opposition politician risked the lives of those involved by publicizing the sensitive data.

After the incident, Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt requested the parliament to lift the immunity of Márta Demeter.

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This whole matter is a “high treason criminal suit” against her and she is ready for the procedure, Demeter says in reaction to the incident. In a Facebook post, she emphasized that during the past few months she had won “a series of court cases demanding corrections to be published by media outlets that had incorrectly accused her of violation of secrecy and publishing classified information.”

The Hungarian parliament is set to vote on the MP’s immunity this Friday.

Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI.