The head of the Central Anticorruption Bureau, Col. Andrzej Stróżny, sent a letter to partner anticorruption services. He wrote that “the liquidation of the CBA is no longer just one of the theoretical scenarios” but “one of the key points of the common program to be implemented by the newly formed government.” He referred to the provisions of the coalition agreement concluded by KO, Trzecia Droga and Nowa Lewica, which stated that this service was “extremely politicized” and had been “repeatedly used for political struggle.” Former head of the Bureau, Paweł Wojtunik, called the letter a “hysterical action.”
The full content of the letter from the head of the CBA to partner anti-corruption services dated November 14, along with its working translation, was published on Sunday afternoon on the Central Anticorruption Bureau’s social media profiles.
“In response to the recent increasing information regarding the liquidation of the Central Anticorruption Bureau, I have decided to inform you about the current situation” – we read at the beginning of the letter signed by Colonel Andrzej Stróżny.
“Unfortunately, the liquidation of the CBA is no longer just one of the theoretical scenarios presented by candidates during the ongoing election campaign. In the coalition agreement signed on Friday (the agreement was signed on November 10 – ed.) This is one of the key points of the joint program to be implemented by the newly formed government, wrote the head of the CBA in a letter to the partner anti-corruption services.
He added that “this means that specific actions in this area can be expected in the near future.”
“The very intention to liquidate the Office is truly unique on a European scale, because so far no one has decided to raise their hand against any of the anti-corruption institutions required by the regulations of the European Union itself,” it was emphasized. The head of the CBA wrote that “these political announcements, if implemented, may create a precedent and encourage politicians from other countries to try to liquidate or introduce deep reforms also in other anti-corruption institutions.”
The head of the CBA in a letter to partner services: it would weaken the entire European Union
The guard warns that “this may take us back to the path where corruption will take decisive and confident steps.” “It would certainly weaken the entire European Union and stop the development that we all worked so hard for and strived for with such conviction,” he said.
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The letter also states that “the decision to liquidate the Central Anticorruption Bureau was preceded by a growing number of misleading reports in the Polish media about the allegedly illegal activities of the Bureau.”
“I would like to assure you that, despite all speculations, all CBA officers and employees remain deeply committed to achieving common goals and undertakings, and all activities carried out by CBA officers are fully legal and justified,” emphasized the head of the Bureau.
“All this indicates that politicians want to destroy the functioning of an efficient anti-corruption service, despite all signals to the contrary not only from citizens, but also from the international community,” we read.
The head of the CBA also emphasized that “regardless of the circumstances, we are ready to continue our cooperation.” “We also remain open to any suggestions and initiatives that may increase the effectiveness of our joint efforts,” he added. “I am sure that the trust and partnership we have built over the years will continue to be the basis for our fruitful cooperation,” concluded Colonel Stróżny.
The CBA, publishing a letter on the X platform, wrote that “cooperation with foreign partners has been at a high level for years, resulting in a number of jointly implemented projects, as well as recognition in the international environment.”
Wojtunik: a hysterical action by the head of the CBA who reminded himself of EU values
Earlier, on Sunday morning, a fragment of the letter in English was published on his profile by the former head of the CBA, Paweł Wojtunik.
“A hysterical action by the head of the CBA, who suddenly remembered the values of the EU and ‘reported’ abroad on bad politicians who want to dissolve the CBA,” he commented.
Provision on the liquidation of the CBA in the coalition agreement
Point 19 of the coalition agreement signed by the leaders of the Civic Coalition, Third Way and the New Left says that “the coalition will depoliticize the uniformed services and secret services and introduce clear rules for state control over them.”
The groups constituting the parliamentary majority believe that “the subordination of the police and secret services to the ruling option over the last eight years has led to their extreme politicization, repeated use for political struggle and restriction of civil rights.” They also announce “limiting the number of services with statutory authorizations to perform operational and reconnaissance activities and introducing effective mechanisms to control the performance of these activities by the services.”
“The Central Anti-Corruption Bureau will be liquidated and its resources and competences transferred to other services, including the department for combating corruption crimes in the Central Police Investigation Bureau. This will strengthen the fight against corruption, completely abandoned by the previous government. Citizens will have the right to information about the services’ interest in them, in particular information about the operational control carried out regarding them,” we read.
“You just have to leave it in the hands of professionals, in the hands of police officers.”
Rafał Trzaskowskiwho repeatedly called for the liquidation of the CBA during the election campaign, was asked by PAP about the provision regarding the liquidation of the Central Anticorruption Bureau.
– All functions of the CBA will be taken over by the police, therefore we will continue to pursue corruption in a fully determined manner. However, the CBA has become extremely politicized, so unfortunately this institution has been ridiculed, and I regret that. Of course, the future government will do everything to fight corruption, but it must simply be left in the hands of professionals, in the hands of police officers who are independent, and not in the hands of people who are based solely on their political sympathies, said the mayor of Warsaw.
Marshal of the Sejm Szymon Hołownia When asked on October 24 about the liquidation of the CBA, he said that “the CBA has seriously violated the provisions of the act that established it and the goals it was supposed to pursue.” – In general, reports about the activities of the services, especially at the end of this team’s rule, raise many doubts. They will have to be clarified by the Sejm committee and the prosecutor’s office, he said.
“The liquidation of a service such as the CBA will cause real damage to our country”
On November 10, Stanisław Żaryn, deputy minister and coordinator of special services, commented on the issue of liquidation of the CBA. – This is a very harmful postulate for the CBA, of course, but above all for the Polish state. I have no doubt that the liquidation of a service such as the CBA will cause real damage to our country, he said.
He stated that the CBA, operating since 2006, is a service with a long history and tradition of prosecuting corruption and caring for Poland’s economic interests. In his opinion, transferring some of the officers or cases to other services will not compensate for the losses that will result from the liquidation of the CBA.
The deputy coordinating minister cited data from recent years of the CBA’s activities. As he enumerated, “since 2016, thanks to the work of the CBA, it has been possible to collect evidence that resulted in charges being brought against over 5,300 suspects. Based on the CBA’s investigations, over 630 indictments were formulated, and the CBA itself detected irregularities and crimes that resulted in a depletion of the State Treasury amount of over PLN 18 billion. When asked how many of these cases verdicts had already been passed, he said that there was no such data because these cases were taken over by the prosecutor’s office and the courts.
– The scale of the CBA’s activities, the specific profits and savings that result from the effective work of the CBA are clearly visible. All this is crossed out in public discourse due to the fact that some people associated with the Civic Platform have their own problems with legal provisions and the law, Żaryn said.
In his opinion, PO, as well as other parties signed to the coalition agreement, “believed in their own propaganda to manipulate the image of the CBA’s activities and do not want to see what the CBA actually does, but only see what is very inconvenient for their political environment.”
Main photo source: TVN24