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Debekization Act. Ministry of the Interior and Administration: almost a billion zlotys were returned

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As a result of lost lawsuits with persons covered by the so-called deubekizacja act, the state has already had to pay PLN 980 million on the basis of final judgments, according to the response of the Pension and Disability Institution of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration to the speech of the member of the Civic Coalition, Adam Szłapka, provided to TVN24.

Based on the so-called of the Debekization Actwhich has been in force since 2017, over 38,000 people – who for all or part of their professional career performed “service to the totalitarian state” – had reduced pension and pensions. They could not be higher than the average benefit paid by ZUS.

Elaborated by Institute of National Remembrance the directory of services is listed in the act. They include the Security Service (communist political police) and the Citizens’ Militia (the equivalent of the police in the Polish People’s Republic). According to an extensive and detailed statutory catalogue, both SB officers who investigate democratic opposition or clergymen who are defiant towards the authorities, as well as students and listeners of militia schools, qualify for the mandatory reduction of pensions.

PLN 980 million in arrears of old-age pensions – effects of the de-ubekisation act

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A large number of people whose benefits have been reduced have filed lawsuits in this matter with the courts. KO Adam Szłapka, MP from the KO, asked the Ministry of the Interior and Administration about the sentencing.

The ministry replied that “according to the data of the Pension and Disability Institution of the Ministry of Interior and Administration (ZER MSWiA) it appears that due to the entry into force, on January 1, 2017, of the Act of December 16, 2016 on amending Act on retirement benefits for officers of the Police, the Internal Security Agency, the Foreign Intelligence Agency, the Military Counterintelligence Service, the Military Intelligence Service, the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Border Guard, the Government Protection Bureau, the State Fire Service and the Prison Service and their families 1 to 30 September 2017 again retirement and disability benefits were established for 38,331 persons, and for 989 persons in the period from October 1, 2017 to June 27, 2022. Decisions redetermining the amount of benefits, based on the above-mentioned act, were submitted more than 26,000 appeals“.

“According to the data provided by ZER MSWiA, by December 31, 2021, 661 final court judgments were implemented and benefits were paid in the total amount PLN 74,060,386.41while from January 2022 to June 27, 2022, 1,544 final court judgments were implemented for the total amount PLN 212,871,615.97“- wrote the Ministry of Interior and Administration. In total, it gives approx. PLN 286.9 million.

On the other hand, from the last response to MP Szłapka’s speech, we learn that “in the period from June 27, 2022 to May 31, 2023, 4,360 final court judgments were implemented and benefits were paid for the total amount PLN 693,164,521.14.

This means that the full payout amount by May 31, 2023 is almost PLN 980.1 million.

The De-Bekization Act before the Supreme Court

The so-called case of the de-ubekisation act was also analyzed by the Supreme Court. In September 2020, the Labor Chamber of the Supreme Court decided that in the case of pensions of PRL functionaries, the criterion of service to a totalitarian state should be assessed on the basis of their individual acts.

In the oral reasons for the judgment, Judge Rapporteur Bohdan Bieniek emphasized that “Supreme Court in the panel examining the case, shares the view that the state is entitled to settle accounts with the former regime, which in democratic conditions was effectively discredited.

He noted, however, that “a specific person” always stands before the court. – The number of facts that may be covered by the content of this act is impossible to grasp – said the judge.

– We cannot act like this totalitarian state that did not respect any rules, no individual rights to a fair and fair trial. Then we would become nothing else but the same system that we criticize – emphasized Judge Bieniek.

Stanisław Trociuk, Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights, who participated in the hearing, spoke about the decision of the Labor Chamber of the Supreme Court in an interview with a TVN24 reporter.

He assessed that “this decision of the Supreme Court is a complete qualitative change.” – The Supreme Court stated that it is not enough to perform service in the unit specified in the Act. In the course of investigating the case, it is also necessary to check what the person did while on duty – whether, for example, he committed violations human rights Trocik pointed out.

Author:kris, Marek Osiecimski

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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