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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Justice Fund. Ministry: Prime Minister Morawiecki knew about the irregularities since 2021

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Mateusz Morawiecki knew about irregularities in the Justice Fund at least since 2021, when the Supreme Audit Office sent post-audit conclusions on this matter to the Prime Minister's office, the Ministry of Justice said on Friday. – This is a pre-election stunt – said Tomasz Matynia, Morawiecki's collaborator and former head of the Government Information Center.

Friday's announcement on the website of the Ministry of Justice – as it was written – was posted because “in the media there are statements by politicians of Law and Justice that they did not know about irregularities in the Justice Fund managed by the then Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro and the Sovereign Poland environment.”

“Therefore, the Ministry of Justice informs that the documents known to us show that United Right politicians had knowledge about irregularities in the FS at least since 2021,” it was noted.

According to the Ministry of Justice, “precisely in 2021, the Supreme Audit Office notified the then Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the then Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński and the then head of the CBA Andrzej Stróżny about the comments, assessments and conclusions formulated in the post-audit speech addressed to the Minister of Justice.”

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“This information was recorded at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister and attempts were made to take action on its basis. In 2022, the Chancellery of the Prime Minister sent a request to eight ministers of the then government for information on the implementation of 16 applications following NIK audits formulated in 2019-2021. This also included a request to the minister Zbigniew Ziobro for information on the status of implementation of the Supreme Audit Office's post-audit demands in the ministry,” reads Friday's announcement.

Question from the Prime Minister's office

The ministry pointed out that “being fully aware of the reservations raised by the Supreme Audit Office, the Prime Minister's office asked Zbigniew Ziobro in writing whether the Ministry of Justice had initiated legislative work on limiting the Fund's objectives to supporting crime victims and post-penitentiary assistance – i.e. eliminating the goal of preventing crime, which was added in 2017.” .

“In addition, according to the Supreme Audit Office, the way the Justice Fund operated at that time did not provide all potential beneficiaries with equal and transparent access to funds, and decisions to grant funding were made in a discretionary manner and were not properly documented,” the Ministry of Justice reported.

According to the Ministry of Justice, “while waiting for a response, a representative of the Prime Minister's Office called the Ministry of Justice several times.” “Finally, he found out that the letter with the minister's position was in the signature,” the Ministry of Justice noted. However, according to the Ministry of Justice, “ultimately, the Chancellery of the Prime Minister never received any answer.”

“Zbigniew Ziobro was the only minister in Mateusz Morawiecki's government who did not respond to the letter from the prime minister's office,” emphasizes the Ministry of Justice.

Along with the announcement, scans of two documents were posted on the MS website. The first is a letter from the Chancellery of the Prime Minister to the then head of the Ministry of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro, which draws attention to the “particularly important demands” of the Supreme Audit Office and asks for a response by June 30, 2022. The second document is an official memo from July 27, 2022, in which, among others: it was recorded that “all ministers except the Minister of Justice responded to the speeches.”

Morawiecki about the Justice Fund

At the end of May this year. Mateusz Morawiecki he said at a press conference that “the Justice Fund, according to its tasks and competences within the Council of Ministers, was subordinated to the Ministry of Justice and questions would have to be directed there, because that was where the real responsibility for the Justice Fund was.”

Please note that already in 2021 Supreme Chamber of Control sent him – then the head of government – a letter regarding irregularities in connection with the Justice Fund, Morawiecki replied that a few years ago NIK had lost “the name of a public office” in his eyes because, in the wake of “other tapes (…) one could see that the head of the Supreme Audit Office (Marian Banaś) calls Donald Tusk 'boss'. – I read something like that in the media, because I didn't listen to it myself. For me, the Supreme Audit Office's credibility in this matter is less than zero, he added.

When asked then whether, after the Supreme Audit Office's report, he had tried to take any action to verify the information about irregularities in the SF, Morawiecki repeated that the Fund, as part of the division of competences, “was fully and exclusively subordinated to the Minister of Justice, the Ministry of Justice” and asked what what happened there should be directed to “people who dealt with it”.

Justice Fund scandal

Minister of Justice Adam Bodnar he recently assured that “we are doing everything in our power to explain various irregularities regarding the spending of funds from the Justice Fund.”

According to the ministry's findings regarding the Justice Fund, “23 contracts raise serious doubts and may be subject to a sanction of invalidity.” “In relation to these 23 contracts, they will not be implemented and we will analyze whether we will seek a refund. Some of the funds from these contracts have not been paid, and the amount of funds paid from these 23 contracts is over PLN 105 million,” it was reported.

The investigation into the Justice Fund case is being conducted by the National Prosecutor's Office. In total, the prosecutor's office brought charges against seven people in this case, three of whom were arrested. The suspects include: former and current MS officials dealing with the fund.

A motion was also submitted to the Sejm to waive the immunity of the former deputy head of the Ministry of Justice in the United Right government, MP Michał Woś (Suwerenna Polska, club PIS). The basis for the application are the findings of the prosecutor's office regarding irregularities in the spending of money from the Justice Fund, including: PLN 25 million for the purchase of the Pegasus system.

Tomasz Matynia, Morawiecki's collaborator and former head of the Government Information Center, commented on the matter in an interview with PAP. He assessed that the publication of the materials by the Ministry of Justice was a “pre-election ploy”, and the mere fact that the Chancellery of the Prime Minister reacted to the Supreme Audit Office's reports by asking the ministers for explanations did not mean that the Prime Minister knew about the whole matter – because it is a standard, routine procedure. activities in the audit department of the Chancellery.

Main photo source: PAP/Wojtek Jargiło





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