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Andrzej Gwiazda will receive higher compensation. The Supreme Court overturned the verdict

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The Supreme Court awarded a former anti-communist opposition activist, Andrzej Gwiaździa, PLN 1.3 million in compensation and compensation for his arrest in the 1980s. Thus, it increased the amount of compensation previously awarded by a military district court by over PLN 350,000.

Andrzej Gwiazda, an 87-year-old former communist oppositionist, demanded a total of over PLN 3.5 million in compensation and compensation for his arrest in 1982-1984. In July 2022, the District Military Court in Warsaw awarded the star a total of over PLN 942,000 for the arrest. The amount of PLN 478 thousand as compensation and PLN 464 thousand in damages.

The prosecutor’s office appealed against this judgment to the Supreme Court, requesting that the compensation be reduced to PLN 114,000, and the representative of the State Treasury, who applied for the judgment to be set aside in the part concerning compensation and the case to be reconsidered by a military district court. In turn, the attorney of Andrzej Gwiazda in his appeal applied for higher compensation.

Supreme Court: the amount of compensation is to compensate for harm

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On Wednesday Supreme Court legally changed the sentence of the military court and increased the amount of compensation for harm by PLN 358,000. In all other respects, the contested judgment was upheld. From Wednesday’s decision of the Supreme Court, it is possible to file a cassation appeal.

– The issue of redress in any such case is a delicate one. There are no criteria for how this compensation is determined. (…) The amount of compensation is to have a real value and compensate for the harm suffered by the victim. Of course, it cannot exceed a certain limit and be a source of unjust enrichment, said Tomasz Artymiuk, judge of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, in the justification of the ruling.

The judge pointed out that Andrzej Gwiazda had been interned for over a year, and immediately after his release he was temporarily arrested on December 22, 1982. – This period of pre-trial detention lasted 19 months, and in addition, Mr. Gwiazda was charged with a crime punishable by death, which was carried out at that time – emphasized the judge.

Andrew StarAndrzej Gwiazda/PAP

Supreme Court: the amount awarded was inadequate

The Supreme Court also referred to the prosecutor’s allegation, which indicated that the compensation awarded to those convicted in the 1940s and 1950s was definitely lower than that granted to Star. – It’s incomparable. This is a matter of individual feelings related to the activities of given people for the independent existence of the Polish state. (…) We believe that the amount of PLN 478,000 awarded by the court of first instance is inadequate – said the judge, arguing the decision to increase the compensation.

He added that the amount of over PLN 3.5 million originally requested by the star was excessive. – Almost four million zlotys is an abstract amount and it seems that the applicant has definitely exaggerated in this case – the Supreme Court ruled.

Prosecutor Ewa Romankiewicz, referring to the judgment of the Supreme Court, said that the prosecutor’s office would decide whether to file a cassation appeal after analyzing the judgment.

Who is Andrzej Gwiazda?

Andrzej Gwiazda was born in April 1935 in Pińczów. He graduated from the Gdańsk University of Technology in the field of electronics. In 1978, he was a co-founder and activist of the Free Trade Unions of the Coast. In August 1980, as the initiator of the strike in “Elmorze”, he became a member of the Inter-Enterprise Strike Committee in the Gdańsk Shipyard.

In December 2021, the Star was awarded redress and compensation for over a year of internment. The Court of Appeal in Gdańsk legally ruled that the former oppositionist was entitled to PLN 400,000 (while demanding PLN 2 million). The oppositionist was interned from December 13, 1981 to December 22, 1982, then he was arrested and charged with trying to overthrow the system by force. Until July 22, 1984, he was in the detention center in Mokotów – then he was released under an amnesty.

Main photo source: Andrzej Gwiazda/PAP

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