…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock recounted a series of incidents involving an anti-vaccine protestor, Geza Tarjanyi, during his testimony in court.
Hancock expressed his fear of being physically assaulted, mentioning an incident in which Tarjanyi “shoulder-barged” him while persistently shouting questions and accusations during a walk to Parliament.
He claimed to have felt harassed and intimidated during two separate encounters with Tarjanyi in January.
Intimidation at Westminster Tube Station
Hancock described the second incident at Westminster tube station, where he felt particularly threatened.
As he tried to enter the escalator, Tarjanyi continued to berate him, prompting Hancock to worry about his safety.
The former Health Secretary testified that he was pushed by Tarjanyi, causing him to fear losing his balance and potentially falling down the long escalator.
Haranguing on the Tube
During their short Tube ride to Bond Street, Tarjanyi allegedly persisted in shouting at Hancock and members of the public.
The former Health Secretary mentioned feeling intimidated, especially when Tarjanyi mentioned his previous arrests and expressed a desire to go to court.
This remark made Hancock uneasy and concerned for his safety.
Opposition to Conspiracy Theories
Hancock expressed his awareness of a protest camp in Whitehall occupied by conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers.
He strongly condemned their views as “ridiculous” and expressed reluctance to provide them with additional publicity.
He mentioned that Tarjanyi’s reference to the drug hydroxychloroquine further indicated his alignment with conspiracy theories, as the drug had been tested in rigorous clinical trials and found to have no impact on treating COVID-19.
While Hancock acknowledged that he frequently interacts with the public, he emphasized that his encounter with Tarjanyi felt significantly different.
The former Health Secretary admitted feeling intimidated and stated that he had never experienced such a level of fear during his time as a public figure.
Denial of Physical Contact
Tarjanyi’s defense lawyer, Parveen Mansoor, argued that her client denies any physical contact and instead claims that it was Hancock who “barged into him.”
She suggested that Hancock exaggerated the incidents to gain sympathy or prevent Tarjanyi from expressing his views.
Hancock strongly refuted these claims, asserting that he would not make false accusations lightly.
Tarjanyi, who filmed the encounters with Hancock, maintains that he did not make deliberate physical contact and accuses Hancock of initiating the contact.
He asserts that his behavior was within his rights as a journalist to question a public figure.
Tarjanyi denies the charge of harassment.
The trial has been adjourned until July 4, and both parties continue to present their arguments regarding the nature of the incidents and the alleged harassment.
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