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Plaintiffs Demand Retraction From Hungarian Ministry Of National Development

June 17, 2013


Class Action Lawsuit For Reparations for Hungary’s Role in the Holocaust

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 17, 2013) – The Plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit brought in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against Hungary, The Hungarian National Railway (MÁV), and Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt demanded a public retraction today from the Hungarian Ministry of National Development for misrepresentations made regarding Plaintiffs’ efforts to take the testimony of Mr. László Csatáry before the Budai Központi Kerületi Bíróság (Central District Court of Buda).

The Plaintiffs, who are Holocaust survivors, are seeking reparations for Hungary’s role in the Holocaust.  Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and have stated their belief that any claims by Holocaust survivors should be heard in Hungary, where the underlying actions occurred.  Plaintiffs maintain that Hungarian law and procedures are inadequate to assure that a fair and impartial trial could take place in Hungary.

On June 4, 2013, in accordance with the procedures of the Hague Convention, Mr. László Csatáry was set to be deposed for his actions – and by extension, the actions of the Hungarian government and MÁV – in organizing, directing and managing the deportation of over 500,000 Hungarian Jews to Nazi death camps.  Mr. Csatáry was a commander of the Kassa ghetto (now Kosice, in Slovania); was actively engaged in the transports; and has been convicted of war crimes for his heinous conduct.

Following the hearing, where Mr. Csatáry failed to appear in person, the Hungarian Ministry of National Development, at 5:50 PM on the day of the hearing, issued a press release on its website stating that counsel for the Plaintiffs, Charles S. Fax, announced that he was “satisfied with the fairness of the [Hungarian judicial] procedure and expressed thanks to the Court for having assisted in obtaining the information requested by the plaintiff.”

In a letter sent today to the Ministry of National Development, Mr. Fax stated, “I made no such statement – nor did I say anything that could be inadvertently misconstrued to mean in substance what the Ministry incorrectly reported.  In fact, the transcript reflects that I reserved the right to ask the Court to reconvene the hearing at a later date to obtain the evidence that we were denied.  It seems apparent that the Ministry’s misrepresentation of my comments was self-serving – intended to promote Hungary’s litigation position in our case.  For all of the above reasons, I request that the statement be removed from the Ministry’s website and that a public retraction be made to correct the record.”

Mr. Fax attached a transcript of the hearing to his letter.

About Charles S. Fax:

Charles S. Fax is a partner in the Bethesda, Maryland office of Rifkin, Livingston, Levitan & Silver, LLC, which has offices throughout the state.

Mr. Fax’s practice, which is nationwide, emphasizes business litigation and corporate/contractual disputes, including business fraud, insurance coverage, business defamation and executive employment disputes.  He also represents plaintiffs in consumer class actions.  Representative clients include law firms, closely held corporations, broker-dealers, trustees and business executives. Mr. Fax holds an AV Preeminent* peer-review rating through Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in the Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law publications. In 2006, Washington Smart CEO magazine named Mr. Fax one of Greater Washington’s “Legal Elite.”

Mr. Fax is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University (B.A. 1970) and George Washington University Law School (J.D. 1973, with Honors), where he was a member of the National Moot Court Team. Mr. Fax is a member of bar associations of Maryland, New York and Washington, D.C., and is licensed to practice in federal circuit courts throughout the country and the United States Supreme Court.

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