“Minister Adam Bodnar is trying to remove Dariusz Barski from the position of the National Prosecutor, for which he has no independent competences,” wrote Andrzej Duda, referring to Thursday’s decision of the Minister of Justice regarding personnel changes in the position of the National Prosecutor. – Mr. President unfortunately abuses such strong expressions (…) I trust not only the legal instinct, but also Mr. Bodnar’s crystal-clear legal decency – commented Donald Tusk during an interview on TVN24.
Donald Tusk in his first interview since the swearing in of his government, he was asked about the rule of law.
“On January 12, 2024, the Prosecutor General, Prof. Adam Bodnar, during a meeting with the National Prosecutor, Mr. Dariusz Barski, handed him a document stating that his reinstatement to active service on February 16, 2022 by the previous Prosecutor General, Mr. Zbigniew Ziobro, was made with a violation of applicable provisions and did not produce legal effects because a provision of the Act was applied that was no longer in force,” the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.
During a conversation with Prime Minister Donald Tusk, the president Andrzej Duda commented on social media about the decision of the Ministry of Justice in the case of Dariusz Barski.
“Minister Adam Bodnar is trying to remove Dariusz Barski from the position of the National Prosecutor, for which he has no independent competences. He conveyed his ‘decision’ in this matter to Prosecutor Barski. A change in the position of the National Prosecutor is, according to the Act, the competence of the Prime Minister and the Prosecutor General in cooperation with the President. A. Bodnar’s action without the participation of the Prime Minister and the President is another gross violation of the law (the Act and Article 7 of the Constitution),” Duda wrote.
Tusk: Mr. President is the perpetrator of this constitutional confusion
– Unfortunately, Mr. President overuses such strong expressions. He is clearly in some emotion. I trust not only my legal instinct, but also Mr. Bodnar’s crystal-clear legal decency. Professor Bodnar was the Ombudsman, respected both in Poland and in the world – Tusk referred to Andrzej Duda’s entry.
– (Bodnar – ed.) is the last person we could suspect of wanting to violate the law. It seems that he will have the opportunity to explain the circumstances, including legal ones, of this decision. I would prefer to look for this common space with the president, but I will not forget that it is the president who is the cause of this constitutional, systemic and judicial confusion – he added.
“I have no doubt that we do not have two national prosecutors”
– I have no doubt that we do not have two national prosecutors. If someone says about himself that he is still a national prosecutor despite the decisions of the Prosecutor General, it is not the case that he still is. No, he is not (Barski – ed.) a prosecutor – said the Prime Minister.
– They will not pretend that we have two courts and they need to be glued somehow or both should be respected. I want the power of the constitution to be restored in Poland (…) it has never happened that whoever takes power takes over institutions and transforms them into party annexes. In 2015, Poland became a legal and political hell. We must regain these institutions for the state and rebuild their independence, he said.
– We need to find common points of reference. The court’s judgment is something like a common point of reference. Some may like this verdict, others may not. The essence of the state is that we all respect the judgment of such a court, Tusk said.
Changes in the National Court Register. “I won’t take a step back”
The Prime Minister was also asked about the planned changes in the National Council of the Judiciary and possible opposition in this matter from President Duda. – I won’t take a step back, even if I hear that I’m too stubborn on this matter or that it doesn’t create a good atmosphere. For me, rebuilding institutions and their independence is absolutely the starting point for making the Polish state acceptable to everyone again, for people to find these points of reference again, accepted by everyone. I will talk to the president about it, he said.
“Politicians must cooperate with each other for the good of the country”
– Politicians do not have to unite, politicians must cooperate with each other for the good of the state. If they are in parliament, they can argue, compete, they don’t have to love each other. The most important thing is that politics should not ruin relationships between ordinary people, said the Prime Minister, referring to the question about the strong polarization of society and yesterday’s protest.
– Many people today, looking at me with anger or bitterness, can understand that it is better to live in a country, for everyone without exception, that is neutral and neutral towards its citizens, where one can expect fair judgments and just actions of officials who will be guided by law and principles, not party whim. This is a path that will take years, but I will be very consistent in it so that people will see that I did not go elections – ed.) for money or power – he said.
“I have to protest against building symmetry”
– I have to protest against building symmetry, that there is some legal dualism. This is not a dispute PIS – Platforma or Kaczyński – Tusk about the legal model. We want to restore the elementary, completely fundamental principles that should apply in every democratic country. The first principle is to respect court judgments, whether we like them or not, said the Prime Minister.
– I don’t want to compromise with Mr. Kaczyński – some of it is yours, some of it is mine. I have some prosecutors, you have some prosecutors. This is absurd. This is not about negotiations about how much law and how much lawlessness there should be, he said.
Anita Werner, host of “Fakty” TVN, as well as journalists from other largest news stations: Marek Czyż from TVP and Piotr Witwicki from Polsat News talk to the Prime Minister.
Main photo source: PAP/Radek Pietruszka