Yesterday the appellate court handed down its decision in the case of Klubrádió v. the Media Authority. The result is that the station’s fate is still in limbo.
Some of the rulings were favorable from Klubrádió’s point of view. The Budapest Appellate Court (Fővárosi Ítélőtábla) decided that the Media Authority had an obligation to sign a contract with Klubrádió after the station won the 92.9 MHz frequency. It also ruled that the Media Authority’s decision to prevent Klubrádió from acquiring the frequency was null and void. The judge announced that the lack of a signed contract was solely the fault of the Media Authority. And the court dismissed the contention of the Media Authority that the existence of two contracts for two different stations was illegal and ruled that Klubrádió’s verbal assurance that it will relinquish one of the frequencies is sufficient. All good news. But that’s not how things work in Hungary.
Despite all the favorable rulings, the Appellate Court didn’t find the reasoning behind the lower court’s decision satisfactory. What caused the problem was that the Media Law adopted recently can be applied retroactively. Therefore, the judge sent the case back to the lower court to rule on the case in light of the new, retroactive Media Law.
So, the whole disgusting game the Media Authority is playing with the only opposition radio station is beginning anew. Klubrádió can start from square one.
It is obvious that the Hungarian government is ready to go very far to silence Klubrádió.