battery industry

Quoting our investigation, mayor of Göd files police report amidst environmental concerns and scaremongering claims

Our recent story about the large amount of toxic solvents released by the Samsung factory and workers’ exposure to toxic substances has caused a stir in Göd. The mayor has filed a police report against an unknown perpetrator: if our articles are true, he says, environmental damage is taking place, but if they are not, he says, there is a threat of scaremongering.

On 20 February, we published our story on the Göd battery factory, which included a report on the high levels of fetal-damaging solvents released as air pollutants by Samsung SDI’s Göd plant. Our article provoked a lively reaction on various social media platforms, with locals reacting to the information in several Facebook groups in Göd and in the surrounding area.

Two days later, the mayor of Göd, Fidesz-supported Zoltán Kammerer (independent) announced on his social media page that he would file a complaint against an unknown perpetrator for the allegations published in our article. He wrote in his post:

“Several facts and statements have appeared in the press in recent days about the operation of the Samsung SDI factory in our city, which rightly cause concern and fear in the people of Göd. As the leader of the city, I insist that the matter be clarified and that we find out whether environmental pollution has indeed occurred or whether it is a scare story.”

On 26 February, the full denunciation was published on the website of the Göd municipality. At the beginning of the document, in the description “Facts”, Kammerer refers to our article of 20 February about the air pollution data and to four other articles previously published in the Atlatszo, quoting at length from their texts.


Átlátszó stories cited in the denunciation by the mayor of Göd. (Source: denunciation)

Among the articles cited, our story on the contaminants detected in the Göd wells and our article on the activities of SungEel Ltd., where we reported that the nickel limit was measured at two thousand times the limit value at the battery processing plant in Szigetszentmiklós.

Kammerer says “now the truth will come out”

According to the legal qualification at the end of the police report, if our allegations are proven to be true, there is a “well-founded suspicion of an environmental crime”. If, on the other hand, our writings are found by the investigating authorities to be untrue in whole or in part, the allegations in our articles may give rise to a presumption of the offence of “threatening to cause public danger” or scaremongerging.

Zoltán Kammerer made his police report public in a new Facebook post. “For me, the safety of the people of Göd comes first, and the people who live here deserve to see clearly,” reads the post, which concludes with the statement.

Translated by Zita Szopkó. The original Hungarian version of this story was written by Zsuzsa Bodnár and can be found here. Cover photo: Kammerer Zoltán, Mayor of Göd (Source: Facebook).  The article was produced with the support of the Union Values Programme.