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Ministry of Justice: the composition of the investigative team of the National Prosecutor’s Office regarding the Justice Fund has been established

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The Ministry of Justice informs about the composition of the investigative team at the National Prosecutor’s Office, which will deal with irregularities in the functioning of the Justice Fund. The team will be led by prosecutor Marzena Kowalska, one of six prosecutors demoted in 2016.

“First of all, the investigative team will analyze all notifications regarding the Justice Fund that were sent to individual prosecutor’s offices in the country in recent years, as well as the results of the Fund’s audit conducted by the Supreme Audit Office,” the Ministry of Justice announced on the X platform.

As announced, the team leader will be PK prosecutor Marzena Kowalska. The team also included the prosecutor of the Warsaw-Praga District Prosecutor’s Office, Piotr Woźniak, and the prosecutor of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw, Marcin Wielgomas.

Appointments to the positions of prosecutors in the National Prosecutor’s Office

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Earlier on Friday Ministry of Justice informed about the appointment of six prosecutors demoted in 2016 to the positions of prosecutors of the National Prosecutor’s Office. Among them was Prosecutor Kowalska – one of the deputies of the only head of the prosecutor’s office separated from the minister after 1990, Andrzej Seremet.

A week ago, the ministry informed that the Prosecutor General Adam Bodnar will establish an investigative team for the Justice Fund in the National Prosecutor’s Office, which will examine the correctness of management and spending of funds from this Fund.

The Ministry of Justice then indicated that the team would be composed of prosecutors who would review the notifications and proceedings that had been sent to the prosecutor’s office in recent years in this case.

National Prosecutor’s Office in WarsawAlbert Zawada/PAP

The team will investigate notices relating to the Justice Fund

First of all, it was said, it is to analyze notifications regarding the Justice Fund that were sent to individual prosecutor’s offices in the country. “This applies to all notifications – both from individuals and state institutions” – noted the Ministry of Justice.

An important element of the Team’s activities – it was emphasized – will be the issue of purchasing the Pegasus system from the Justice Fund.

“The investigative team will review, among other things, the preparatory proceedings regarding the Ex Bono foundation. It includes a notification to the Supreme Audit Office and was sent to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Opole,” the ministry also said.

As reported, on December 27 last year payments from the Justice Fund have been suspended. “The suspension of payments does not mean the termination of contracts. However, the contracts will be carefully analyzed,” the Ministry of Finance noted at the time.

Doubts about spending from the Justice Fund

On Friday, the Sejm dealt with, among others: current information on irregularities in the spending of funds from the Justice Fund. An application in this regard was submitted to the Minister of Justice by the KO club.

Deputy Minister of Justice Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz emphasized in the Sejm that in recent years the Justice Fund has become a symbol in the public space of inappropriate use of public funds, “financing your own, modern electoral sausage.” “It was called Ziobro’s private fund, the Injustice Fund, the Representative Fund,” the deputy minister emphasized.

Supreme Chamber of Control in September 2021, it presented the results after auditing the implementation of tasks from the Justice Fund. In the opinion of the Supreme Audit Office, the funds from the Fund were spent in an uneconomical and inappropriate manner, which was supposed to contribute to the emergence of corruption-generating mechanisms. The irregularities allegedly concerned over PLN 280 million.

The then deputy minister of justice, Marcin Romanowski, denied the NIK’s allegations. In his opinion, the Supreme Audit Office’s report was “shocking evidence”.

“But it is not evidence of irregularities in the Justice Fund, it is terrifying proof of the lack of basic reliability of the Supreme Audit Office. It is a pity that the president of the Supreme Audit Office uses this institution for political struggle and to try to defend itself against prosecutor’s charges,” Romanowski noted in 2021.

Main photo source: Albert Zawada/PAP

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