Leaving such outrageous violations of the law without an appropriate response will be a clear message to the public that law enforcement agencies are above the law, wrote the Ombudsman in a document addressed to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Adam Bodnar referred to the actions of the state authorities against Roman Giertych regarding his detention in October.
The Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, asked Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to draw consequences in the case actions by prosecutors related to the arrest of Roman Gierych, which took place in October.
“Leaving such outrageous violations of the law without an appropriate response will be a clear message to the public that law enforcement agencies stand above the law and sanction violations of fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms, which would undoubtedly have a significant impact on weakening citizens’ trust in the State and its bodies “- stressed the Human Rights Defender.
“State organs did indeed function in this way in a bygone era”
As he added, “although state organs did function in this way in the past era, it is reasonable to expect that in the present system of the Republic of Poland, the standards of their operation will be different”.
In Bodnar’s opinion, “taking into account the strictly hierarchical structure of the prosecutor’s office introduced by the 2016 Act and its subordination to the minister of justice, the final political responsibility for the actions of prosecutors is the minister of justice-prosecutor general.”
It is an investigation conducted by the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Poznań, which concerns two issues: the purchase of worthless – according to the prosecutor’s office – receivables of Prokom Investments SA in the amount of almost PLN 73 million and the purchase of real estate at an inflated price of less than PLN 27 million according to investigators.
Detention of Roman Giertych
In mid-October, 12 people were detained in the case, including attorney Giertych. The detainees were charged with the misappropriation of the company’s funds and large-scale property damage to the company, as well as money laundering.
During the October arrest of Giertych, the lawyer was taken to hospital after he collapsed while searching his home by CBA officers. Giertych’s lawyers informed that during the prosecution activities conducted with their client at the Giertych hospital in Warsaw, he was unconscious and the charges against the lawyer were not effectively announced.
The prosecutor’s office then announced that after the “effective” presentation of the charges against Giertych, preventive measures were taken in the form of a five million zloty bail, suspension of the lawyer’s activities, prohibition to leave the country, police supervision combined with a prohibition on contacting other suspects. The lawyers’ lawyers appealed against this decision to the court.
At the beginning of December, the District Court in Poznań revoked the preventive measures applied by the prosecution against Giertych and assessed that the charges against the lawyer had been announced unsuccessfully.
“It is not enough to say that the problem I am describing has been solved”
“It is not enough to say that the problem I am describing has been solved, because the court recognized the illegal activity of law enforcement agencies in this case and ordered the return of the seized materials. The problem is, above all, that such actions took place at all” – Bodnar emphasized in a letter to the head of government on Friday. As he added, “it is not a mistake that could potentially have happened, but a suspicion that there could have been a deliberate and planned action directed against the citizen”.
In this context, the Ombudsman pointed out, inter alia, the circumstances of the charges against Giertych and the fact that the search at the lawyer’s house and at his law office took place at the same time. “The activities were planned in such a way that both searches would be carried out simultaneously. The prosecutor’s preconceived intention was therefore to prevent Giertych from participating in one of them” – he assessed.
The National Prosecutor’s Office stated in November that “all actions of the prosecutor’s office in the case in which the suspect Roman G. heard the charges are legal and result from the evidence gathered”. “The proceedings in this case will be continued, new circumstances and evidence appear confirming the legitimacy of the charges brought against the suspects and indicating the possibility of extending them to other crimes” – she said.
The Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Poznań assessed in December last year that the court’s decision to lift the preventive measures against Giertych “is a threat to the proper course and effects of the proceedings”.
Main photo source: PAP / Wojciech Olkuśnik