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Mikołaj Pawlak before the parliamentary investigative committee on Pegasus

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– I did not know what the funds requested by the CBA would be used for – Mikołaj Pawlak, former director of the Department of Family and Juvenile Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, testified on Monday before the parliamentary investigative committee on Pegasus. He also justified why he did not appear at last week's hearing.

Mikołaj Pawlak, children's rights ombudsman in the years 2018–2023 and previously director of the Department of Family and Juvenile Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, presented the history of his work in this ministry. He said, among other things, that he joined the ministry at the end of June 2016 and was entrusted with a new department for family and minors affairs.

He added that in June or early July, issues arose about “someone taking care of the department of the victims' assistance fund and post-penitentiary assistance.”

– When the new regulations came into force (…) one of the first applications that appeared was the request of the Central Anticorruption Bureau – testified Mikołaj Pawlak, whose parliamentary investigative committee for Pegasus asked about the transfer of PLN 25 million from the Justice Fund to the CBA for the purchase of Pegasus.

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– It (the application) came to me with many stamps, it went through the entire ministry (…) I haven't seen such a stamped application for a long time (…) and at the same time it did not contain a justification or any other details – reported a former director at the Ministry Justice.

Covered by a secrecy clause

As he indicated, after a conversation with the then deputy head of the Ministry of Justice, Michał Wosiem, he learned that the next part of this application would be classified as confidential – he himself did not have access to classified information at that time and was aware that the procedure to obtain it was “long-lasting” and “demanding”.

– I then – having only the knowledge that there would be a secret application, and having on board a prosecutor who ex officio has access to secret (information), I proposed that prosecutor (Jakub) Tietz would represent the department in this respect, because he had this opportunity immediately, said Pawlak.

Mikołaj Pawlak during a meeting of the Parliamentary Investigative Committee on surveillance of the Pegasus system PAP/Tomasz Gzell

When asked whether he knew what the funds requested by the CBA would be used for, Pawlak denied this. – No, I didn't know. This was classified information. The prosecutor testified about these circumstances, he said.

When questioned in May this year, prosecutor Tietz, who was delegated to the Ministry of Justice and responsible for coordinating grants transferred from the Justice Fund, testified that he did not remember anyone talking to him about transferring funds to the CBA, and “in particular, mentioning the amounts or purpose for which the funds will be allocated.

Regarding the service of the summons

Pawlak, who took advantage of the opportunity to speak freely at the beginning of the hearing, explained why at the beginning he did not appear at last week's committee meeting. – Last week, in accordance with the provisions of criminal procedure that apply to the delivery of notices about committee meetings, no such notices were served to me – he said. He pointed out that his representative was also not informed about the meeting.

He added that he had not received information about the meeting in any other way. At the same time, he announced a formal motion to “change and repeal the measures that the commission ruled a week ago.”

A week ago, the chairwoman of the committee, Magdalena Sroka (PSL-TD), announced that she would ask the court to punish Pawlak with a disciplinary penalty for failing to appear at the hearing.

In May, when Pawlak was summoned before the committee for the first time, he refused to take the oath and then left the room. His decision was then supposed to be related to the so-called securing the Constitutional Tribunal. On May 8, the Constitutional Tribunal issued a decision obliging the parliamentary investigative committee on Pegasus to refrain from taking action until the Constitutional Tribunal considers the application of a group of PiS MPs who alleged that the resolution establishing this committee is unconstitutional.

Meeting of the commission of inquiry into the Pegasus casePAP/Tomasz Gzell

Piotr Patkowski, former chief spokesman for public finance discipline, was called as another witness at Monday's investigative commission for Pegasus.

READ PREMIUM TEXT: Other services paid the CBA for using Pegasus. The system blocked wiretapping of Russian phones

Main photo source: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

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