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How did Szmydt get to Belarus? “In the simplest way possible”

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Tomasz Szmydt got to Belarus “in the simplest way possible”, through the Terespol-Brześć border crossing – writes “Rzeczpospolita” on Saturday. The daily added that so far “no restrictions have been introduced for trips from Poland to Belarus.” “All you need is a valid passport and a Belarusian visa,” we read.

As reported by the “Rzeczpospolita” daily on Saturday, Tomasz Szmydt left Poland for Belarus in May “in the simplest way possible” – through the Terespol-Brześć border crossing in the Lublin Voivodeship. “He did not use any tricks, such as the route through Turkey indicated by some media, but he crossed the Polish border in the only possible place,” we read.

“There is both an active railway crossing there and for car and passenger traffic, after the government closed all crossings in Podlasie a year ago,” recalled “Rz”, adding that so far “no restrictions have been introduced for trips from Poland to Belarus”. “All you need is a valid passport and a Belarusian visa. The Border Guard checks travelers in databases – mainly police ones – to see if they are wanted on an arrest warrant,” it added.

The information about Szmydt's departure to Belarus through the Terespol-Brześć crossing was confirmed to the newspaper by Przemysław Nowak, spokesman for the National Prosecutor's Office. We asked the spokesman about this situation, but by the time the text was published we had not received an answer.

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Szmydt's trips “escaped the attention of the services”

The coordinator of the special services and the new head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Tomasz Siemoniak, previously informed that Szmydt he left for Belarus in June 2023, and the services “did not take any steps”. “For the second time, in May this year, he left the country to get political asylum in Belarus. Both trips escaped the attention of the Polish services,” writes “Rz”.

According to the newspaper, Szmydt could also have lost his status as a judge several years ago, but the disciplinary proceedings in his case were suspended. This concerns the proceedings initiated after the disclosure of the hate scandal in 2019. It was suspended by retired judge Jerzy Chromicki due to the lack of materials from the investigation of the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Lublin.

“As 'Rzeczpospolita' established, the disciplinary proceedings against Szmydt are suspended to this day. Szmydt is no longer a judge, so the proceedings will be discontinued,” we read.

The case of Tomasz Szmydt

On May 6, at a press conference in Minsk, Tomasz Szmydt informed that he was asking the Belarusian authorities for asylum. He also talked about “resigning from the position of judge” of the Republic of Poland “with immediate effect.” He argued that resigning from his position was an expression of “a protest against the policy pursued by the Polish authorities towards Belarus and Russia.” So far, he has worked as a judge at the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw.

Tomasz SzmydtWojciech Olkusnik/EastNews

The President of the Supreme Administrative Court accepted Tomasz Szmydt's declaration of resigning from the office of judge. Then, the Disciplinary Court at the Supreme Administrative Court lifted Szmydt's immunity, allowed his detention and provisional arrest. Thanks to this, the National Prosecutor's Office initiated proceedings and charged Szmydt with espionage, for which he faces up to life imprisonment.

Former judge Tomasz Szmydt is one of the heroes of the hate scandal during the PiS government, which concerned the slander of judges opposed to the reforms of the United Right in the judiciary.

“Rzeczpospolita”, PAP, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: Wojciech Olkusnik/EastNews

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