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“Devastating” evidence in the Marcin Romanowski case

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The basis for the motion to lift the immunity of MP Marcin Romanowski (Sovereign Poland) is evidence, the assessment of which allowed for the presentation of 11 charges. One of them is participation in an organized criminal group – said prosecutor Katarzyna Kwiatkowska at the session of the parliamentary committee. Prosecutor Piotr Woźniak said that “the basic evidence collected in the case is the explanations of Tomasz M.”, former director of the Department of the Justice Fund.

The Rules, Deputies' Affairs and Immunities Committee is considering the motion of the National Prosecutor to grant consent to prosecute, detain and temporarily arrest the politician of Sovereign Poland, PiS MP Marcin Romanowski. The session began after 11 a.m. The motion was submitted to the Sejm on 19 June by the Minister of Justice, Prosecutor General Adam Bodnar. The case concerns an investigation into the Justice Fund.

According to the announcement of the Speaker of the Chamber Szymon Hołowniathe Sejm is to consider the motion at its next session on July 11-12.

Marcin Romanowski at the committee meetingTVN24

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11 charges against Marcin Romanowski

Prosecutor Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, director of the preparatory proceedings department of the National Prosecutor’s Office, said at the beginning of the committee meeting that she fully supports the motion of the National Prosecutor to lift Marcin Romanowski’s immunity, as well as the arguments contained in its written justification.

She reported that “the investigative team number 2 of the National Prosecutor's Office is conducting an investigation into irregularities in the management and expenditure of funds from the Fund for Aid to Victims and Post-Penitentiary Aid, later called the Justice Fund in the years 2016-2023”. She added that charges have been brought against 11 people so far, and the amount of damage suffered by the State Treasury is PLN 112 million.

She stated that “the basis for the submitted motion is the evidence collected in the case, the criminal law assessment of which has allowed for the current issuance of a decision to bring 11 charges” against Romanowski.

– One of them is the participation of the MP in an organized criminal group aimed at committing crimes against property, in particular exceeding authority, failure to fulfill obligations, as well as certifying falsehoods in documents and causing significant damage on behalf of the State Treasury in order to gain personal and financial benefits, including through other persons – she said.

– This accusation is very serious, because we are talking about the functioning of an organized criminal group at the level of the Ministry of Justice, about the functioning and active participation of which MP Romanowski, according to the prosecutor's office, was aware – she added.

– In the Ministry of Justice, we, as citizens and lawyers, would rather expect law to prevail, not lawlessness – said Kwiatkowska.

READ ALSO: Details of Fund management, concerns about evidence destruction. What is in the application in Romanowski's case

Prosecutor Woźniak: the basic evidence is the explanations of Tomasz M.

The motion to lift Romanowski's immunity was presented by prosecutor Piotr Woźniak. He said it was 66 pages long. The prosecutor spent over an hour listing the charges against the politician.

He said that the basic evidence collected in the case is the explanations of Tomasz Mraz, former director of the Justice Fund Department and a minor crown witness in the investigation. – He presented a number of evidence of a material nature in support of his explanations. These are records of conversations collected by him over a period of several years, these are records of electronic correspondence, these are audio materials, recordings. In this situation, it is difficult to claim that these explanations of Tomasz M. are not supported and confirmed by material evidence – said the prosecutor.

– And from this type of material evidence it clearly follows that – at this stage of course – Tomasz M.'s explanations should be considered fully credible. These explanations, the context of these individual actions undertaken by Mr. Marcin Romanowski, are also supported by the analysis of a number of documents downloaded from the Ministry of Justice – said Woźniak, pointing out, among others, documentation in the form of competition announcements related to the Justice Fund, as well as documentation related to the implementation of concluded contracts.

– Voices were raised in the courtroom a moment ago that it is almost a scandal that the prosecutor's office or neo-prosecutors, as some call them, allow themselves to formulate charges against Mr. Marcin Romanowski based on fictitious media evidence. It is commented that this evidence is fabricated, falsified, that Tomasz M. is a person who was introduced to the then Ministry of Justice to a managerial position to record conversations as a provocateur. Well, that is not the case – said the prosecutor.

The evidence is “devastating”

Prosecutor Andrzej Tokarski assessed the evidence as “devastating”. – This is very strong evidence. This is not evidence based on circumstantial evidence. This is direct evidence, one could say so, first-hand, that is, from a person who was in particular at the very center of these events – he said.

Warchoł: the motion is characterized by extreme bias

Romanowski's attorney, PiS (Sovereign Poland) MP Marcin Warchoł, assessed that the prosecutor's office's motion “is characterized by extreme injustice and bias” in many respects.

Warchoł, referring to the accusation that Romanowski, as a civil servant, did not behave impartially, as required by the act on employees of civil offices, said that according to the act, a civil servant is someone who has completed administrative training. He explained that Romanowski, as a deputy minister, was bound by the act on the Council of Ministers, and not by the act on employees of civil offices.

Warchoł, referring to the accusation that the amount of damage suffered by the State Treasury was PLN 112 million, said that “not a single zloty from the Justice Fund was embezzled, and Romanowski terminated many contracts with entities that spent these funds in a manner inconsistent with their intended purpose”. – The money had to be spent, because if Romanowski had not spent it, he would have broken the law – he said.

The MP also asked whose private interest was violated, which person, association, or foundation. – You can't say that the one who should have received it didn't, and who should have received it? – he asked.

The defense attorney appealed to the committee to “exercise due consideration when voting” on the waiver of Romanowski's immunity.

– We are deciding not only about the case of MP Romanowski. We are also deciding whether in this particular situation we are returning to the darkest times. (…) With your conclusions you are reminding us of the darkest pages of the Polish judiciary, the Polish justice system – he assessed.

Committee meetingTVN24

Romanowski referred to the circumstances that are supposed to justify the fear of tampering. He assessed that “they were untrue taken out of context”. – These fears of tampering, cited by the prosecutor's office, refer mainly to my meetings with the directors (responsible for the Justice Fund – ed.) and with Mr. Tomasz M., but this fundamental fact is omitted here, that the main purpose of these meetings (…) was to prepare for defense against media attacks – said Romanowski.

Too untrue PiS MP he also acknowledged the prosecutor's statement that the fears of obstruction were justified by the fact that in view of these possible prosecutorial actions, he was supposed to prepare specific instructions for action. – Because if the full course of this meeting were known, it would turn out that it is indeed simply some abstract knowledge regarding the rights and obligations of persons during criminal proceedings and it is difficult for something like this to hinder the proceedings – assessed Romanowski.

READ: “He was aware of functioning in an organized criminal group”

Piotr Uruski (PiS) and Romanowski filed motions to provide the committee with access to the case files. The motions were rejected by a majority vote.

Romanowski on absurd allegations

Just before the commission began its work, Romanowski told journalists that the charges against him were absurd. “If we disclose all the materials, you will see that this is manipulation,” he said.

He assessed that the prosecutor's office's motion in his case was unlawful.

Main image source: TVN24



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