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Judge Joanna Knobel from Poznań acquitted people protesting in the cathedral after the verdict of the Constitutional Tribunal on abortion. The head of the new KRS, Dagmara Pawełczyk-Woicka, suggests “training” the judge

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The decision of Poznań judge Joanna Knobel to acquit protesters in the Archdiocesan Basilica in Poznań after the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal tightening the abortion law was met with the reaction of the new National Council of the Judiciary. The head of this, according to many experts, politicized body, Dagmara Pawełczyk-Woicka, sent a letter to the president of the district court, in which she “kindly asks to consider the possibility of referring” Judge Knobel “to training in constitutional law, including in particular the protection of religious worship” .

On Monday Judge Joanna Knobel from the District Court in Poznań issued a non-final judgment in the case of 32 accused of disturbing the mass in the Archdiocesan Basilica in Poznań. They were participants in the Women’s Strike, who in the fall of 2020 protested against the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal tightening the abortion law.

The judge acquitted all the accused. She argued, inter alia, that the behavior of the defendants during the protest, who, after starting the sermon, i.a. they went to the front of the church, threw leaflets, clapped, held up placards – it was a planned, organized and deliberate action – and it prevented the public performance of a religious act. Knobel noted, however, that “the evidence proceedings did not show that the motive of the defendants’ actions was malice, i.e. the desire to annoy, hurt another person, cause an unpleasant feeling in the psyche of other people.”

– During the trial, the court also took evidence from experts in various fields, and each of them emphasized that it was difficult to talk about the malicious actions of the defendants in this case – she said.

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The head of the new KRS suggests referring the judge to “training”

Judge Dagmara Pawełczyk-Woicka, the president of the new National Council of the Judiciary, reacted to Judge Knobel’s decision. According to many experts, judges, lawyers and constitutionalists, the new KRS is politicized by the way its members are elected.

The new Council published an entry on Twitter on Tuesday, which included a photo of the letter dated March 14 this year and signed by Pawełczyk-Woicka. It is addressed to the President of the District Court in Poznań, Judge Krzysztof Lewandowski.

“In connection with media publications regarding the non-final judgment of the Poznań-Nowe Miasto and Wilda District Court in Poznań, which acquitted persons accused of ‘jointly and in concert maliciously obstructing the public exercise of religious worship’, and in particular with regard to the content of the published oral motives of this decision, delivered by Judge Joanna Knobel, the head of the adjudicating panel of the court, I kindly ask you to consider the possibility of sending the mentioned person to training in constitutional law, including in particular the protection of religious worship, as provided for in Article 53(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, “wrote the chairwoman of the new KRS.

Freedom of religion includes the freedom to profess or adopt a religion of one’s choice and to manifest one’s religion, either individually or with others, in public or private, in worship, prayer, observance, practice and teaching. Freedom of religion also includes the possession of temples and other places of worship depending on the needs of believers, and the right of individuals to receive religious assistance wherever they are.

Main photo source: TVN24

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