The District Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow “resumed” an investigation into the appropriation of PLN 139,000 from an online fundraiser for Fiat Seicento. The entire amount was to go to the account of Sebastian Kościelnik, who in February 2017 collided with the government column, which was traveling by then Prime Minister Beata Szydło. Shortly after this event, a fundraiser began online, but its organizer disappeared after collecting a significant amount.
The District Prosecutor’s Office in Kraków has resumed the investigation against Rafał B., suspected that in Bournemouth (United Kingdom), he appropriated the money collected for this purpose by organizing an online fundraiser for the purchase of a Fiat Seicento for Sebastian Kościelnik.
The online fundraiser was set up right after the accident in February 2017, when Kościelnik collided in Oświęcim with the government column, which was used by then Prime Minister Beata Szydło. The organizer of the collection ensured that the collected money would be transferred in full to the driver of the seicento. However, this did not happen – Rafał B. was to pay out funds for his own purposes.
Investigation into the misappropriation of money from the seicento fundraiser
Although the prosecutor’s office initially dealt with the case of the missing money, in 2019 it discontinued the investigation. – According to the regulations, this gentleman became the owner of this money, therefore it cannot be said that he appropriated someone else’s money (…). This, of course, is reprehensible, because he took advantage of the situation, but it is difficult to talk about appropriating other people’s money in such a situation, said prosecutor Janusz Hnatko, spokesman for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow.
Investigators returned to the case in subsequent years, examining whether a crime had occurred. In August, in a message on the website, the prosecutor’s office announced the “resumption of suspension” – by order of August 7, 2023 – an investigation into appropriation. This is an offense under Article 284 of the Penal Code. “All donors who have made payments as part of the above-mentioned online collection have the status of a victim” – we read in the prosecutor’s statement.
Whoever appropriates the movable entrusted to him shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for a term of between 3 months and 5 years.
What prompted investigators to return to the case? We have sent questions to the prosecutor’s office, we are waiting for an answer.
“The aim of this action is to collect the amount needed to buy a new Fiat Seicento car. The car that was damaged is a 98-2000 model according to the findings of the Fiat Seicento Lovers Club. The prices of such a car range from PLN 3.5 thousand to PLN 5 thousand. PLN, depending on the mileage and its condition. I want a young boy to be able to buy a car that is fully operational, without a suspicious history, hidden defects, etc.” – wrote in 2017 the organizer of the collection.
In total, Internet users donated PLN 139,000 to the collection. As the prosecutor’s office established, most of this money was transferred to the account of Rafał B.’s wife.
The accident of the government column in Auschwitz
In February, a final judgment was passed before the District Court in Kraków after the accident in 2017. The court of second instance disagreed with the decision of the District Court in Oświęcim regarding the fault of the driver of the Government Protection Bureau. According to the verdict, another BOR driver, driving the third car in the column, contributed to the accident. The Krakow court, however, agreed that the vehicles did not use sound signals and did not constitute a privileged column.
At the same time, the court emphasized that the fact of contributing to the accident of the BOR driver does not eliminate Sebastian Kościelnik’s fault. The driver of the seicento was found guilty, but the court conditionally discontinued the proceedings for a year’s probation.
District Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow, tvn24.pl
Main photo source: TVN24