I believe that I am absolutely right in what was presented to prosecutor Dariusz Barski, namely that he is a retired prosecutor – said the Minister of Justice, Attorney General Adam Bodnar in “Fakty po Faktach”. He noted that he “does not intend to withdraw” from his decision and explained that “the prosecutor was restored to active service” on the basis of a provision that “was of an episodic nature.”
Head of the Ministry of Justice, Attorney General Adam Bodnar On Monday he was a guest of “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24.
He spoke, among other things, about the case of prosecutor Dariusz Barski. On Friday, the Ministry of Justice announced that Barski would be restored to active service in 2022 was made without a legal basis. Therefore, as reported by the Ministry of Justice, he has been retired since January 12 and does not serve as a national prosecutor. The ministry announced that Jacek Bilewicz has become the acting national prosecutor. The president criticized the decision Andrzej Duda, who wants Bodnar to withdraw from it.
– I absolutely do not intend to withdraw because I believe that I am absolutely right in what was presented to prosecutor Dariusz Barski on Friday, namely that he is a retired prosecutor – Bodnar said on TVN24.
As he explained, “the prosecutor was reinstated into active prosecutorial service on the basis of a provision that was episodic and had not been in force for many years.”
“I realized that there was a defect in the appointment. I took appropriate actions”
Bodnar also explained what provision he was talking about. – 2016, reform of the prosecutor’s office. One of the provisions provided that prosecutors could return to prosecutorial service, he recalled.
As he said, “several people took advantage of it.” – Then comes 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022. And suddenly prosecutor Barski also decides to come back based on the same provision. While the purpose of that act, the one from 2016, was achieved when the new National Prosecutor’s Office was created – said the head of the Ministry of Justice, emphasizing that the mentioned provision “was in force for exactly two months”.
He also emphasized that the Ministry of Justice had collected “fantastic opinions” from experts on this subject. – Everyone clearly says: yes, this provision could no longer be applied five or six years later – continued the guest of “Fakty po Faktach”.
Adam Bodnar also assessed that the decisions made by Barski as the national prosecutor “remain in force.” – It is like this that if we have someone who is a driving instructor and trains drivers (…) and only after some time we find out that his license is defective, it does not mean that all the lessons that took place can be be considered non-existent. So I think it should be approached this way, he admitted.
– I realized that there was a defect in my appointment within a month of becoming Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General and taking appropriate actions – he added.
He emphasized that Jacek Bilewicz, appointed to perform the duties of the national prosecutor, “is one of the most experienced prosecutors in Poland.” – He was once a prosecutor at the General Prosecutor’s Office. It was an institution that existed before the National Prosecutor’s Office. And he was demoted in 2016 by Zbigniew Ziobro. For me, the fact that he is now again a prosecutor of the National Prosecutor’s Office is a certain act of historical justice that he can continue to work at this highest level in the prosecutor’s office, he said.
Bodnar: I think there is no dispute over competences
Adam Bodnar also commented on President Andrzej Duda submitted an application to the Constitutional Tribunal for “resolution of the competence dispute between the President of the Republic of Poland and the Prime Minister and the Prosecutor General”, which states that it is related to “an attempt to illegally remove Dariusz Barski from the position of National Prosecutor and an illegal attempt to appoint a new acting National Prosecutor”.
– I expected that such actions would take place and that various attempts would be made to block this decision. Because this decision is very delicate and environmentally sensitive PiS. Therefore, as I understand it, protection is now being sought in the Constitutional Tribunal to prevent these actions from coming to fruition and to deprive them of their significance, said the Minister of Justice.
– As I understand the idea behind this proposal, (it is about) a dispute over competences in the context of who can make decisions regarding the appointment or dismissal of the national prosecutor – continued the head of the Ministry of Justice.
At the same time, Bodnar said that in his opinion there was no dispute. – Because only I am able to make such a decision when it comes to determining whether someone is retired or not – he emphasized.
Bodnar: the security issued by the Constitutional Tribunal is defective for three reasons
Bodnar also referred to the fact that on Monday The Constitutional Tribunal “issued an interim decision” ordering him, as the Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General, to “refrain” from actions that would prevent Dariusz Barski from performing “the tasks of the national prosecutor”.
– As I understand it, over the weekend I was looking for some way to block the actions I took in the context of prosecutor Dariusz Barski. As is usually the case in Poland recently, the Constitutional Tribunal came to the rescue, he said.
According to Minister Bodnar, this security provision is “defective for three reasons”. – The first reason is that a constitutional complaint may be filed after exhausting the remedies available in Polish law. And Dariusz Barski (editor’s note) did not benefit from this. And here we have the opportunity to go to the Labor Court with such a case. Moreover, prosecutors from Lex Super Omni paved the way by pointing out that the Labor Court may have the ability to resolve various disputes of this type, he said.
– Secondly, it is worth noting that Krystyna Pawłowicz (which issued this security – ed.) itself voted for the adoption of the Law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office – also this provision, Article 47 of the introductory provisions, when these provisions were adopted, i.e. at the turn of 2015 and 2016. Because she was an MP then. So, for the same reason, she should not rule on this case, he continued.
– And thirdly – in 2011 (Pawłowicz – ed.) she ran for the Sejm from the same lists as Dariusz Barski, i.e. from the PiS lists – he added.
Main photo source: TVN24