The District Court in Olsztyn upheld the verdict of the court of first instance, which sentenced the former commander of the State Fire Service in Kętrzyn to eight months in prison, suspended for two years. He was responsible for exceeding his powers and inciting his firemen to make false statements in connection with an accident that occurred during a training exercise at his unit’s premises. A 23-year-old firefighter died after the accident.
In July 2018 A 23-year-old firefighter from Dobre Miasto died as a result of an accident that occurred during exercises on a jumping-chute. According to the initial testimonies of his colleagues and the commander, the man was supposed to have fainted during exercises and hit his head hard on the ground. In a critical condition, he was taken to a hospital in Olsztyn, where he died after a month of fighting for his life.
Much later, it came to light that the unit was training with a jump-chute. Firefighters jumped on equipment. They couldn’t do it. This is strictly prohibited by safety regulations. The 23-year-old also jumped. Unfortunately, he hit his head on the gas cylinder filling the device.
On Friday, April 28, the District Court in Olsztyn upheld the sentence of eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, for the former fire chief in Kętrzyn, Szymon S. He was convicted of exceeding his powers and inciting five firefighters under his direct supervision to give false testimony in connection with event that took place on June 14, 2018 at the headquarters. In the opinion of the investigators, the accused was to instruct them to “stick to one established version of events” concealing that during the training they were jumping on a jumping chute.
– Thus, the appellate court found the factual findings made in this case by the District Court in Kętrzyn to be fully correct. The verdict is final, said the spokesman of the District Court in Olsztyn, judge Adam Barczak.
The accused appealed against the sentence
The trial in this case began on May 31, 2022 before the District Court in Kętrzyn. On the first day of the trial, Szymon S. pleaded not guilty to the alleged act and made extensive explanations. The court then found that the defendant exceeded his powers and facilitated five subordinate firefighters to give false testimony. At the same time, the court changed the legal qualification of the act to “aiding and abetting the crime of giving false testimony”. S. was sentenced by the court of first instance to eight months’ imprisonment and suspended the execution of this sentence for a probationary period of two years. At the same time, the court banned the defendant from practicing the profession of a firefighter and holding managerial positions in the Volunteer Fire Brigade for two years. The defendant and his lawyer appealed against that verdict.
The shift commander was previously convicted
In March 2021, the final judgment of the District Court in Olsztyn shift commander heard. Marcin L. was charged with three crimes – failure to perform official duties in connection with failure to comply with health and safety obligations and unintentional manslaughter, incitement to give false testimonies and giving false testimonies. He was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment suspended for three years.
Firefighters who were accused of making false statements were also brought before the court.
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