The District Court in Gdańsk found three men guilty of damaging the monument to Father Henryk Jankowski. However, he stated that the social harm of this act was negligible and refrained from punishing them. The accused only have to pay for the damage done. The judgment is not final.
Judge Małgorzata Uszacka from the District Court in Gdańsk read the sentence on Tuesday in the famous case of the overthrow of the monument of the long-time prelate of Solidarity Henryk Jankowski. – The court finds guilty of damaging the monument to Father Henryk Jankowski. However, the social harmfulness of the act is low, so the court refrains from imposing a penalty, the judge said.
She also referred to the allegations of insulting the monument, stating that it had not happened. – They used the monument as a symbol. Presentation amplifier. Their behavior was not for a trivial reason either, the judge said.
At the same time, it found that the accused had caused damage of over seven thousand zlotys. Now they will have to repair it jointly and severally.
The fall of the monument
Down the fall of the monument to prelate Henryk Jankowski took place on February 21, 2019. It was done by Rafał Suszek, Michał Wojcieszczuk and Konrad Korzeniowski (agreed to provide personal data), who from the very beginning did not hide from the judiciary, and recorded the whole situation and posted the video online.
The prosecutor’s office accused the men of that they insulted the priest’s monument and destroyed their property. The prosecutor decided that the act was hooligan “for a trivial reason”. The three men faced five years in prison. The defense tried to prove that there was no insult.
September 20 the trial was completed before the District Court in Gdańsk on the overthrow of the monument of the long-time prelate of Solidarity.
During the closing speeches, prosecutor Mariusz Skwierawski requested that the accused be punished after one year of imprisonment with a conditional suspension of the sentence for two years. The prosecutor also demanded that each of the defendants be fined seven thousand zlotys and financially jointly and severally paid for the damage caused in the amount of PLN 30 thousand.
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 defense wanted to give the floor to alleged victims of the clergyman
– 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.
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. – We would like to finally talk about this fleeting aspect of the accusation, which is the insulting of the monument. It was wrong 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 – emphasized 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: Tomasz Sekielski