Átlátszó won FOIA case against public media management fund

In August 2012, Átlátszó requested the list of the items (including the titles and amounts of the payments) already paid and set to be paid to the Marslakók Produkciós Kft. in conjunction with the hundreds-of-millions-costing daily television drama series about investigative journalists titled “Marslakók” (Martians); along with the invoices filed by the company. We wanted to see the contract on the cessation of the production. MTVA (the Hungarian public media asset management fund) received the request, but didn’t even bother to answer it. We filed a lawsuit that we first won in the court of first instance, and in late August 2013, in the court of second instance as well.

The sentence became legally binding 15 days after its announcement. When this deadline was over, we even started a petition for the MTVA to make public the data that shouldn’t have been kept secret for not even a second, as they, being the custodians of public utility, have always belonged to the public eye.

After our denunciation, the MTVA published a part of the data ordered to be made public on its own website; this data showed that after the cessation of the show, 80 million Hungarian forints was paid to the makers as retention money, in addition to the production cost of billions of Hungarian forints by the state media fund.

Read Átlátszó’s Hungarian language coverage published in August and September 2013 here and here. The text was translated by our volunteers.