The editor-in-chief of the “Sieci” weekly, Jacek Karnowski, did not appeal against the court’s decision obliging him to apologize to TVN journalists Anna Sobolewska, Bertold Kittel and Piotr Wacowski. In 2018, “Sieci” assessed that the reportage “Polish neo-Nazis” was a “setup”. In November 2022, the court of first instance issued a verdict in this case.
On November 15, 2022, the District Court in Warsaw decided that the editor-in-chief of “Sieci” Jacek Karnowski must apologize to the authors of the TVN’s “Superwizjer” report “Polish Neo-Nazis”.
“According to the judgment passed in the first instance, Jacek Karnowski must apologize to TVN journalists on the cover of the weekly in a 10 x 15 cm frame, and specifically to Anna Sobolewska, Piotr Wacowski and Bertold Kittel from the ‘Superwizjer’ editorial office – authors of the report ‘Polscy Neo-Nazis’. His apology must also appear on the main website of the weekly. In addition, he must pay PLN 50,000 to the account of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. The judgment is not final, “- described the Press portal at the time.
It was recalled that the weekly cover in 2018 wrote: “A famous report about Hitler’s birthday. It was a set-up. We got to the details of the investigation. In the background, a mysterious principal, big money and a TVN journalist.” The cover announced Wojciech Biedroń’s text entitled “Masquerade on commission”.
After the announcement of the judgment by the court of first instance in 2022, the text “Censorship in attack” appeared in “Sieci”.
Karnowski will have to apologize to TVN journalists
Now Press informs that Karnowski did not appeal against the sentence obliging him to apologize. The deadline for submitting it expired on January 28. As reported, Karnowski will have to post an apology within two weeks of the verdict becoming final.
– For me, this case is obviously closed. Formally, we do not yet have a seal confirming the legality, because the files are with the referendary who calculates the costs of the proceedings. Immediately after returning the files with a declaration of legal validity, we will apply for an enforcement clause – said Barbara Kondracka, attorney for the plaintiffs, in an interview with Press.
Karnowski, in turn, said that he “does not know the details” and “maybe there was some technical error not on our side”. – From our point of view, the case was and is closely monitored on an ongoing basis, like many others. I know our lawyers are doing the right thing.
Reportage “Polish neo-Nazis”
The report “Polish Nazis” was broadcast on TVN24 on January 20, 2018. Bertold Kittel, Anna Sobolewska and Piotr Wacowski revealed a previously unknown face of Polish neo-Nazism.
Journalists of “Superwizjer” TVN managed to penetrate with hidden cameras into the environment of Polish neo-Nazis. Without revealing their identity, they contacted, among others, members of the Pride and Modernity association, and in May they were invited to the celebration of Adolf Hitler’s 128th birthday.
The event took place on a hill, in a forest near Wodzisław Śląski. The recordings recorded by the journalists of “Superwizjer” show red flags with swastikas, you can hear Nazi military marches coming from the loudspeakers, and something like an “altar” was built in honor of Adolf Hitler with his black and white likeness. In addition, a large wooden swastika hung in the center was soaked in barbecue lighter and set on fire after dark. On its background, the participants of this event took pictures.
The report won the Grand Press award in the “Investigative Journalism” category, and Kittel was named Journalist of the Year for this material, among others. The report “Polish Neo-Nazis” also provided the authors with the Radio ZET Award. Andrzej Woyciechowski.
Main photo source: Paweł Supernak/PAP