mno.hu 24 May 2017
On behalf of the Children Cancer Foundation, István Balogh is handing over their Christmas donation of 101,688,000 forints to Heim Pál Paediatric Hospital on 12 December 2015
Although the charity organisation did not misuse their donations, insinuations cost them hundreds of millions in losses.
“No evidence of misuse of funds has been found by the police, the prosecutor’s office or the tax authority at the Children Cancer Foundation”, legal representative of the Foundation disclosed.
As well-known, investigation against the organisation started after Index had presented a video in December 2013 showing István Balogh, president of the foundation, commuting to work in the organisation’s child saving ambulance car. After that, Index published a series of articles about the foundation, also reviewed by ‘Magyar Nemzet’, containing items of information which were objected to and refuted by the organisation and later proved false.
Upon these reports and charges pressed by the political party ‘Jobbik’, the Budapest Police Department (BRFK) started an investigation in January 2014, which was terminated in May 2016, in the absence of a criminal offence.
As the legal representative of the Foundation pointed out in his letter to our editorial office, no evidence of misuse of funds was found by the police, the prosecutor’s office or the tax authority at the Children Cancer Foundation after two and a half years of intensive investigation. The police concluded that no criminal offence could be established and no further investigative actions were likely to carry forward the investigation in any way.
After István Balogh had won several media lawsuits and a personality rights lawsuit against Index, the portal published two rectification statements and was obliged by the Metropolitan Court of Appeals to pay a considerable sum as compensation for non-material damages.
However, the false news items and their spread in the media caused the Children Cancer Foundation a loss of 550 million forints in tax donations, according to the foundation’s own calculations. For example, in 2014 they received 150 million less 1% personal income tax offerings, as revealed in their communication to ‘Magyar Nemzet’.