Prosecutor General Adam Bodnar has appointed an investigative team at the National Prosecutor’s Office to examine the correctness of management and spending of funds from the Justice Fund – the National Prosecutor’s Office informed. The team leader will be prosecutor Marzena Kowalska.
In a statement on the website of the National Prosecutor’s Office, it was stated that the heads of the prosecutor’s office’s organizational units were obliged to cooperate with the team and submit case files relating to the activities of the Justice Fund within 14 days.
The following members were appointed to the team: Marzena Kowalska – prosecutor of the National Prosecutor’s Office, appointed to act as the head of the Team; Piotr Woźniak – prosecutor of the Warsaw-Praga District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw; Marcin Wielgomas – prosecutor of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw; Ryszard Pęgal – prosecutor of the Warsaw-Praga District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw.
The Ministry of Justice announced the establishment of the team in January. First of all – as it was then reported – it is to analyze notifications regarding the Justice Fund that were sent to individual prosecutor’s offices in the country. “This applies to all notifications – both from individuals and state institutions,” the Ministry of Justice noted.
An important element of the Team’s activities – it was emphasized – will be the issue of purchasing the Pegasus system from the Justice Fund.
“The investigative team will review, among other things, the preparatory proceedings regarding the Ex Bono foundation. It includes a notification to the Supreme Audit Office and was sent to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Opole,” the ministry also said.
As reported, on December 27, payments from the Justice Fund were suspended. “The suspension of payments does not mean the termination of contracts. However, the contracts will be carefully analyzed,” the Ministry of Finance noted at the time.
In September 2021, the Supreme Audit Office presented the results after auditing the implementation of tasks from the Justice Fund. In the evaluation NIK, funds from the Fund were spent in an uneconomical and inappropriate manner, which was supposed to favor the emergence of corruption-generating mechanisms. The irregularities allegedly concerned over PLN 280 million.
The then deputy minister of justice, Marcin Romanowski, denied the Supreme Audit Office’s allegations. In his opinion, the Supreme Audit Office’s report was “shocking evidence”. “But it is not evidence of irregularities in the Justice Fund, it is terrifying proof of the lack of basic reliability of the Supreme Audit Office. It is a pity that the president of the Supreme Audit Office uses this institution for political struggle and to try to defend itself against prosecutor’s charges,” Romanowski noted in 2021.
Main photo source: Albert Zawada/PAP