The trial of three men who, according to the prosecutor’s office, allegedly insulted and destroyed the statue of priest Henryk Jankowski, who was accused of sexual harassment of minors, has ended. The prosecutor’s office wants men in prison after a year, suspended for two years. The defense argues that no insult took place.
On Monday, before the District Court in Gdańsk, during the final speeches in the trial for insulting the monument to Henryk Jankowski, prosecutor Mariusz Skwierawski requested that the accused Michał Wojcieszczuk, Rafał Suszek and Konrad Korzeniowski (agreed to provide personal data) be imposed on the defendants after one year of imprisonment with a conditional suspension of execution penalties for two years.
The prosecutor also demands that each of the men be sentenced to 7,000 PLN fine and financial solidarity coverage of the damage in the amount of PLN 30,000. The trial of the accused began on March 1. The court closed the trial on Monday. It is not known whether the sentence will be passed today.
“For little reason”
On February 21, 2019, the monument of Prelate Henryk Jankowski was overturned. It was done by Rafał Suszek, Michał Wojcieszczuk and Konrad Korzeniowski, who from the very beginning did not hide from the judiciary, but recorded the whole situation and put the recording online.
The prosecutor accused them of insulting the monument and destroying property. He found that the act was hooligan in nature. Three men faced 5 years in prison.
From the very beginning, the case took on a political character – the right wing demanded a severe sentence, and the left wing demanded acquittal of the accused.
– These three guys had a lot of courage to do something that a lot of people did not do: politicians, social activists, businessmen who always openly supported Father Jankowski – commented the Left MP Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, who with a group of a dozen or so people demonstrated in front of the court during one of the hearings. – They did what had to be done, that is, they stood where each of us should stand, on the side of those who are harmed, not the side of those who harm, she added.
Allegations of child molestation
In December 2018, in “Duży Format”, the magazine of “Gazeta Wyborcza”, the report “The Secret of Saint Bridget. Why did the Church allow Father Jankowski to use children for years?” Chaplain of Solidarity, a long-time pastor of the parish of St. Brygidy in Gdańsk, Henryk Jankowski was accused in the publication of, inter alia, sexual violence against minors.
The defense took the line from the outset to show that in this case there was no “insult.” The defense attorney of the accused, Radosław Baszuk, pointed out that “the monument as such has no features that can be insulted”. – It is assumed, according to the doctrine of law, that the subject of protection in this respect is the honor of the person who was depicted on this monument. In this case, it is about the honor of Henryk Jankowski – he explained.
– The evidentiary applications that we submitted, first of all giving the floor to the victims of Henryk Jankowski and his dubious activities, aim at proving that the subject of criminal law protection, such as the honor of Henryk Jankowski, does not exist – added attorney Radosław Baszuk.
The alleged victims did not testify
However, the evidence in the form of testimonies of people who were to be the victims of Father Jankowski was not taken into account by the court. – Finally, we would like to talk about this fleeting aspect of the accusation, which is the insulting of the monument. It is a bad thing that, on the basis of a carefully understood provision, the court made a decision which once again excludes from the case its only important aspect – added the lawyer.
Shortly after the monument was overturned, activists published a statement in which they wrote that “in this simple physical act [obalenie pomnika – przyp. red.] expresses our cultural and civic disagreement with the presence of evil personified in the public space, contempt for other people and their objectification, violation of their freedom and privacy, psychological terror, disrespect for the pain and anger of the victims, and finally – hate speech, as well as – idolatrous worship of people who, like Henryk Jankowski, bearers of these attitudes and perpetrators of similar deeds and behaviors. “
Main photo source: tvn24