Confidentality of sources denied by Hungarian police – again

As we previously reported Tamas Bodoky was summoned and attended a police hearing as witness in a blackmail case. Authorities wanted him to disclose the identity of his sources on the Brokernet hacker story, what he denied since journalists have the right to keep the identity of anonymous sources secret. Atlatszo.hu filed several complaints against the proceedings.

Recently we received written decision from the Organised Crime Unit of the Budapest Police. Authorities rejected again Tamas Bodoky’s reference to the fact that according to the Hungarian law and international human rights agreements journalists have the right to keep the identity of anonymous sources secret. Rejection itself was no surprise since police already told us that according to their viewpoint, exemption is not applicable in this very case.

What is really interesting is the justification of the rejection order. It does not waste paper explaining why is it “exceptionally justified” for the journalist to identify its sources, although it is their legal obligation according to paragraph (3) Article 6 of the Act CIV of 2010 on the fundamental rules of the freedom of the press and media contents. Instead police simply states that in a criminal procedure journalists are not entitled to exemption from testifying.

Atlatszo.hu filed a new complaint against the order. We are curiously waiting for the decision of the prosecution. We sincerely hope that Hungary does not want to embarrass itself in a case like this in front of the European Court of Human Rights.

Police Order (Hungarian, PDF)

Our complaint against the order (Hungarian, PDF)