The decision of the Ministry of Justice regarding the delegation of judge Agnieszka Brygidyr-Dorosz was announced a few hours before the decision on the case of activist Justyna Wydrzyńska was made, Zbigniew Ziobro said on Thursday, referring to the allegations that the promotion of the judge was a reward for the conviction. The justice minister presented the content of the email, which he said was “conclusive evidence” that the decision to delegate had been made before the verdict was passed.
Judge Agnieszka Brygidyr-Dorosz on Tuesday, March 14, sentenced Justyna Wydrzyńska, an activist of the Abortion Dream Team, for helping to terminate a pregnancy for eight months of restriction of freedom, i.e. performing unpaid work for 30 hours a month. The next day, during the trial of the “king of legal highs” Jan S. – a case regarding the trade in legal highs, in which Brygidyr-Dorosz is ruling – she stated that she had been delegated to the Court of Appeal in Warsaw.
According to Wydrzyńska, her trial was political. – If only because we have a politically appointed judge who is a neo-judge, we filed a motion to remove her from the trial and it was rejected. All these situations, connection Ordo Iuris to the trial, it was clear from the start that this trial was political – rated in “Fakty po Faktach”.
Ziobro: it was not a reward, but the result of an application
On Thursday, the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice were asked about the promotion of judge Brygidyr-Dorosz Zbigniew Ziobro. – You from the Platform [Obywatelskiej – red.] claim that, as a result of the judgment that has been passed, Ministry of Justice whether the Minister of Justice has decided to promote this lady judge – he said.
He noted that it was not him but Deputy Minister Katarzyna Frydrych who made the decision on the delegation. Ziobro also presented the content of the e-mail, which, in his opinion, “is objective evidence that the decision to delegate the judge was made before the verdict was passed.” – This decision was actually made a few days earlier, because the decision to delegate a judge to the appellate court is preceded by an analysis of the workload of a given court and judges in a given court – both in the court from which he is delegated and in the court to which he is delegated – he said.
– As a result of such an analysis, the deputy minister supervising the matters of the judiciary receives data from the director of the department and only then makes a decision based on it. Such a decision was made and then the minister decreed a positive decision and ordered the preparation of a draft decision. So it was a few days before this trial – he argued.
Ziobro explained that “on March 14, at 10.56, this decision has already been sent by e-mail to the secretariat of the president of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw and to the secretariat of the president of the District Court in Warsaw.” “This is conclusive evidence that the decision was made before the verdict was reached, so it could have been an acquittal and it could have been a conviction. The minister (…) could not know what the verdict would be – he assessed, adding that “the case ended with a verdict – as I was told – at 15.40, certainly after 15”.
– The decision was communicated to the president of the Court of Appeal and the president of the District Court in Warsaw a few hours before the case was settled. Therefore, this excludes the scenario that the opposition alleges that it was any kind of reward. No, it was not an award, it was the result of an application that had been processed in the Ministry of Justice for some time, he said.
The minister added that “the Ministry of Justice has no insight into the records kept by judges”. – The Ministry of Justice is aware of the number of cases handled by individual judges, but it does not know what kind of cases they are. When making this decision, Minister Frydrych did not know about it and could not know what cases a given judge or judge was dealing with on a given day, he said.
Ziobro: this kind of behavior is a crime in the Penal Code
Referring to the verdict itself, Ziobro stated that “behaviors of this kind, which have been considered a crime, are a crime in the Penal Code”. – These are not behaviors that were introduced as a crime by the current government, but these regulations were also in force during the rule of the Civic Platform and even the rule of the Democratic Left Alliance – he said.
– In accordance with the law in force in Poland and the Polish constitution, the prosecutor’s office and the courts are bound by the principle of legalism. If a certain behavior is prohibited under the Penal Code, then if someone commits such behavior, he or she is criminally liable – he argued.
In the light of Article 152 of the Penal Code, “anyone who assists a pregnant woman in terminating her pregnancy or persuades her to do so is subject to the penalty of imprisonment for up to 3 years”.
The Ministry of Justice responds to the allegations
The Ministry of Justice referred to this case in a communiqué. “In connection with media reports, the Ministry of Justice informs that it is not true that the delegation of judge Agnieszka Brygidyr-Dorosz to the Court of Appeal in Warsaw was in any way related to the judgment in the case of Justyna Wydrzyńska, who was found guilty of committing an act prohibited under Art. 152 of the Penal Code, par. 2, concerning aiding and abetting abortions,” it was written.
“The decision to delegate Judge Brygidyr-Dorosz to the Court of Appeal in Warsaw was made by Katarzyna Frydrych, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Justice. The Warsaw-Praga District Court in Warsaw received information about the decision on March 14, 2023 at 10:56 am” – indicated in the communiqué.
“It follows that the decision to delegate judge Agnieszka Brygidyr-Dorosz to the Court of Appeal in Warsaw was made and delivered before the judgment in the case of Justyna Wydrzyńska was passed,” we read.
Main photo source: PAP/Rafał Guz