In February, a judgment was passed, as a result of which the state television was to apologize to TVN24 journalist, host of “Kropka nad i” Monika Olejnik. However, according to attorney Maciej Ślusarek, who represents her, no apology in this matter has been published yet. The lawyer claims that government television “disregards the final and enforceable court judgment” and speaks of a “sense of complete impunity.” This is not the only case of this kind.
In February, the court of second instance upheld the decision that state television must apologize to TVN24 journalist, host of “Kropka nad i” Monika Olejnik. In the first-instance ruling, which was issued in June 2022, the court found that the state television programs broadcast several years ago violated the journalist’s personal rights. He also decided that Olejnik should be apologized after the main edition of “Wiadomości” and on TVP Info.
– Public television suggested in its manipulations that the tenement house where I live was related to thieving privatization – explained the TVN24 journalist at the time.
“Government television disregards the final and enforceable court judgment”
Attorney Maciej Ślusarek, representing Monika Olejnik, admits in an interview with Onet that “TVP paid compensation and paid the amounts ordered by the court for social purposes.” – But, obviously, the main purpose of this trial was to obtain an apology. Those that will reach all those viewers who were misled by the government television in its programs by defaming editor Olejnik – he points out.
– This apology should appear exactly where false materials about my client were previously broadcast. Nothing like that happened, he adds.
Attorney Ślusarek said that enforcement proceedings had been initiated. – This in itself is probably unprecedented. The motion seeks to force TVP to comply with the judgment. Because today the situation is such that government television ignores a final and enforceable court judgment. This shows that TVP has a feeling of complete impunity. In addition, there is a complete violation of freedom of speech and the right to information – he emphasizes.
He also explains that in such a situation, the court may impose further fines on government television in enforcement proceedings aimed at forcing the execution of the judgment.
Not only the case of Monika Olejnik
The lawyer explains that not only Monika Olejnik is in such a situation.
He describes the case of Khedi Alieva, a refugee from Chechnya who advises the mayor of Gdańsk. Ślusarek reminds that in 2021, she legally won a lawsuit against government television, also for defamation. – In 2016, television used her image in xenophobic and racist material intended to disgust refugees. And she was presented as one of those who allegedly helps bring these refugees to Poland. In 2021, the court ordered TVP to publish an apology. They have not been published to this day – Ślusarek tells Onet.
As he adds, “a tool to disregard court judgments” in this type of cases is the provision of the amendment to the Code of Civil Procedure, called “lex Kaczyński”.
The point is that “if in cases of infringement of personal rights the debtor does not submit a declaration of appropriate content and form, despite setting a deadline for its submission and threatening him with a fine, the court will fine the debtor up to fifteen thousand zlotys and order it to be published in the Court and Economic Monitor”. at the debtor’s expense, an announcement corresponding to the content of the required declaration and in an appropriate form.
Professor Maciej Gutowski, a lawyer from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, emphasized after the introduction of this amendment that “no one who has been harmed by a word on television will learn about the apology statement if it is posted in the Court and Economic Monitor, because no one there “doesn’t reach.”
Attorney Ślusarek also estimates that “the actions of public television are not surprising, it can be said that they are modeled on the ‘mother party’, i.e. PIS. He cites the example of former TVP Info journalist Justyna Śliwowska-Mróz.
In May this year Supreme Court dismissed PiS’s cassation appeal against the final judgment, which ordered the journalist to apologize on the party’s website. This was due to the fact that her image and a fragment of the program she ran were used in the local government campaign in 2018.
Attorney Ślusarek reminds that an apology to Śliwowska-Mróz should be posted on the PiS website for a month, but so far it has not been published.
Main photo source: Przemyslaw Szablowski / Shutterstock